Disorders of GH secretion are known to impair the physiological lipostat and to affect the secretion of leptin, a sensitive marker of regional fat accumulation and total body composition. In both children and adults with GH deficiency (GHD), leptin levels are increased proportionately with enhanced adiposity. In GHI, mutations of the GH receptor gene result in a phenotype similar to GHD, with increased adiposity and unfavorable lipid profiles. To examine the impact of different forms of growth disorders on leptin production, we measured leptin levels in 22 GHI patients homozygous for the E180 splice mutation (15 females and 7 males, aged 8-37 yr) and compared results with those obtained in 20 subjects heterozygous for the mutation (11 females and 9 males, aged 7-54), 17 idiopathic GHD patients (6 females and 11 males, aged 3-34), and 44 normal subjects (25 females and 19 males, aged 7-45). After the baseline evaluation, all subjects received two 7-d GH treatments at doses of 0.025 and 0.050 mg/kg·d in random order. Leptin, IGF-I, and IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were assayed by specific immunoassays. IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels were significantly lower (P 0.0001) in homozygous GHI and GHD patients compared with either controls or GHI heterozygotes. Circulating leptin levels were significantly higher in homozygous GHI patients than in normal controls (20.7 ± 4.2 vs. 8.7 ± 1.4 μg/liter) as well as when compared with heterozygous GHI subjects (14.4 ± 3.4 μg/liter) and GHD patients (9.8 ± 1.6 μg/liter; P <0.01). Similar results were obtained when leptin was normalized for body mass index. When subjects were subgrouped by gender, leptin levels were significantly higher (P <0.05) in GHI females than in females of all other groups and were significantly increased in GHD males (P <0.01 vs. control males). Within the study groups, females had significantly higher leptin levels than males in controls (12.7 ± 2 vs. 3.3 ± 1 μg/liter; P <0.001) and homozygous GHI patients (28.7 ± 5.3 vs. 6.9 ± 2.3 μg/liter; P <0.05), but not in heterozygous GHI (20.1 ± 5.4 vs. 7.3 ± 2.4 μg/liter; P <0.06) and GHD (10.9 ± 2.6 vs. 9.2 ± 2.1 μg/liter) patients. By multivariate analysis, log-normalized leptin levels were best predicted by gender and body mass index in homozygous GHI patients as well as in normal subjects. During the 1-wk courses of GH therapy, serum IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels significantly increased (P <0.0001) in GHD patients, heterozygous GHI patients, and control subjects at both GH doses. Inversely, leptin levels did not change significantly during either course of GH administration in the groups examined. These data demonstrate that leptin is increased in patients affected with long-standing homozygous GHI, probably reflecting abnormalities of body composition and metabolism typical of this condition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism