Objectives. Growth hormone deficiency patients exhibited reduced bone mineral density compared with healthy controls, but previous researches demonstrated uncertainty about the effect of growth hormone replacement therapy on bone in growth hormone deficient adults. The aim of this study was to determine whether the growth hormone replacement therapy could elevate bone mineral density in growth hormone deficient adults. Methods. In this meta-analysis, searches of Medline, Embase, and The Cochrane Library were undertaken to identify studies in humans of the association between growth hormone treatment and bone mineral density in growth hormone deficient adults. Random effects model was used for this meta-analysis. Results. A total of 20 studies (including one outlier study) with 936 subjects were included in our research. We detected significant overall association of growth hormone treatment with increased bone mineral density of spine, femoral neck, and total body, but some results of subgroup analyses were not consistent with the overall analyses. Conclusions. Our meta-analysis suggested that growth hormone replacement therapy could have beneficial influence on bone mineral density in growth hormone deficient adults, but, in some subject populations, the influence was not evident.
Human growth hormone (hGH) is a single-chain polypeptide that participates in a wide range of biological functions such as metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids as well as in growth, development and immunity. Growth hormone deficiency in human occurs both in children and adults. The routine treatment for this condition is administration of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) made by prokaryotes. Since nonglycosylated human growth hormone is a biologically active protein, prokaryotic expression systems are preferred for its production.
Materials and Methods:
Different strains of E.coli were transformed by plasmid containing human growth hormone gene and cultured in different conditions. After induction by IPTG, recombinant human growth hormone production was assessed using ELISA, dot blotting and western blotting techniques.
High levels of rhGH were produced using E.coli prokaryotic protein production system.
This simple and cost effective production process could be recruited for large scale production of rhGH.
E.coli strain; ELISA; recombinant human growth hormone; recombinant protein expression; western blotting
Human pancreatic growth hormone releasing factor (GRF (1-44)) is the parent molecule of several peptides recently extracted from pancreatic tumours associated with acromegaly. A study was conducted to examine its effects on the release of growth hormone in normal volunteers and in patients with hypopituitarism and acromegaly. GRF (1-44) dose dependently stimulated the release of growth hormone in normal people and produced no appreciable side effect. This response was grossly impaired in patients with hypopituitarism and, although similar to the growth hormone response to hypoglycaemia, was of quicker onset and a more sensitive test of residual growth hormone function. Patients with acromegaly appeared to fall into (a) those with a normal response to GRF, whose growth hormone suppressed significantly with oral glucose, and (b) those who had an exaggerated response to GRF (1-44), whose growth hormone had not suppressed previously after oral glucose. Present methods for testing growth hormone deficiency entail using the insulin stress test, which is time consuming, unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous. A single intravenous injection of GRF now offers the possibility of an easier, safer, and more reliable routine test for growth hormone deficiency. It has the further advantage of being free of side effects and readily performed in outpatients. Hence it seems likely to become the standard test and take the place of the insulin stress test.
The indications for use of growth hormone have broadened with the availability of unlimited recombinant human growth hormone. The Food and Drug Administration’s approval for use of growth hormone in growth hormone–sufficient patients with idiopathic short stature includes some children with constitutional delay of growth and puberty. This is a normal growth pattern variation that includes delayed puberty and prolonged linear growth, usually leading to normal adult height. Use of recombinant human growth hormone to increase growth in short-statured children with constitutional growth delay has been challenged for its modest efficacy in increasing ultimate height, high cost, limited evidence for psychosocial benefit, and some unresolved concerns about long-term posttreatment safety. An additional controversy for the young athlete with constitutional growth delay is the concern for fairness in competition.
A PubMed search of the literature from 1957 through May 2010 was conducted. Data sources were limited to peer-reviewed publications.
Recombinant human growth hormone is a safe and effective therapy for increasing growth rate in short children with constitutional growth delay, but it does not markedly increase ultimate stature nor confer a clear benefit in athletic performance.
Prescribing physicians should use recombinant human growth hormone treatment responsibly to bring children disabled by short stature into just the normal range.
growth hormone; constitutional delay of growth and puberty; short stature; athletes
Because the initial reports demonstrating that circulating growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 decrease with age in laboratory animals and humans, there have been numerous studies related to the importance of these hormones for healthy aging. Nevertheless, the role of these potent anabolic hormones in the genesis of the aging phenotype remains controversial. In this chapter, we review the studies demonstrating the beneficial and deleterious effects of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 deficiency and explore their effects on specific tissues and pathology as well as their potentially unique effects early during development. Based on this review, we conclude that the perceived contradictory roles of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 in the genesis of the aging phenotype should not be interpreted as a controversy on whether growth hormone or insulin-like growth factor-1 increases or decreases life span but rather as an opportunity to explore the complex roles of these hormones during specific stages of the life span.
IGF-1; Longevity; Growth hormone
In a consecutive group of 25 children with defective growth being evaluated for growth hormone deficiency, EEG-monitored slow-wave sleep provided discriminatory serum growth hormone responses equivalent to those obtained by arginine and insulin-hypoglycaemia provocation. Exercise was less effective but was able to provide a useful screening test. In 2 subjects with abnormal physiological but normal pharmacological serum growth hormone responses, therapeutic administration of growth hormone in one resulted in a significant growth increment, whereas in the other, advanced epiphyseal maturity precluded adequate evaluation. A normal growth hormone response to a pharmacological stimulus does not exclude a therapeutic response to human growth hormone.
Objective: The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the interrelationship between hormones, nutrition, and wound healing. Methods: The data on various hormones and their effects on specific elements of nutrition and wound healing are reviewed. Results: The key anabolic hormones are human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin, and testosterone and its analogs. Although each has specific metabolic actions, there is also a very important hormone-hormone interaction. A deficiency of these hormones occurs in acute and chronic catabolic states, resulting in lean mass loss and impairing the healing process. Conclusion: There is a well-recognized interrelationship between hormones, nutrition, and wound healing. The anabolic process of protein synthesis, with new tissue formation, requires the action of anabolic hormones. Exogenous administration of these agents has been shown to maintain or increase lean body mass as well as directly stimulate the healing process through their anabolic and anticatabolic actions.
Neutralisation of tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα)restores systemic growth hormone function in patients with Crohn's disease, and induces mucosal healing. Anabolic effects of growth hormone depend on activation of the STAT5 transcription factor. Although it has recently been reported that both administration of growth hormone and neutralisation of TNFα reduce mucosal inflammation in experimental colitis, whether this involved activation of STAT5 in the gut is not known.
To determine whether TNFα blockade in colitis up regulates a growth hormone:STAT5 signalling pathway in the colon.
Interleukin 10‐deficient mice and wild‐type controls received growth hormone or anti‐TNFα antibody, and T84 human colon carcinoma cells were treated with TNFα or growth hormone. Activation and expression of STAT5b, peroxisome proliferator‐activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), NFκB/IκB and growth hormone receptor were determined.
Growth hormone activated STAT5b and up regulated expression of PPARγ in normal mouse colon; inflamed colon was partially resistant to this. Chronic administration of growth hormone, nevertheless, significantly reduced activation of colonic NFκB (p = 0.028). Neutralisation of TNFα rapidly increased abundance of growth hormone receptor, activation of STAT5 and abundance of PPARγ in the colon, but reduced activation of NFκB in colitis. Growth hormone activated STAT5, and directly reduced TNFα activation of NFκB, in T84 cells.
Reduced activation of colonic STAT5 and expression of PPARγ may contribute to persistent mucosal inflammation in colitis. Up regulation of STAT5 and PPARγ, either through neutralisation of TNFα or chronic administration of growth hormone, may exert an anti‐inflammatory effect in inflammatory bowel disease.
Five growth retarded children with Down's syndrome, three girls and two boys aged between 3 1/2 and 6 1/2 years with trisomy 21, were treated with human growth hormone for six months. Before treatment the growth hormone response to sleep and insulin-arginine load, as well as serum concentrations of insulin, thyroid hormones, and cortisol was found to be in the normal range. During the treatment with human growth hormone the growth velocity increased in all the children with Down's syndrome from 2.3-2.8 cm to 3.3-5.8 cm per six months. The serum concentrations of immunoreactive insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) were low before treatment and increased during the treatment with human growth hormone. The serum concentrations of immunoreactive insulin like growth factor 2 (IGF-2), which were within the normal range, however, increased during treatment with human growth hormone. Children with Down's syndrome respond to treatment with human growth hormone, with an increase in both growth velocity and serum somatomedin concentrations.
Human pancreatic growth hormone releasing factor (hpGHRF(1-40] stimulates the release of growth hormone in normal subjects and some patients with growth hormone deficiency. A study comparing the shorter chain amidated analogue hpGHRF(1-29) with an equivalent dose of hpGHRF(1-40) in seven normal subjects showed no significant difference in growth hormone response between the two preparations. Six patients with prolactinomas were also tested; these patients had received megavoltage radiotherapy previously but had developed growth hormone deficiency as shown by insulin induced hypoglycaemia. In all six patients 200 micrograms hpGHRF(1-40) or hpGHRF(1-29)NH2 produced an increase in the serum growth hormone concentration. These data suggest that hpGHRF(1-29)NH2 may be useful for testing the readily releasable pool of growth hormone in the pituitary and that cases of hypothalamo-pituitary irradiation resulting in growth hormone deficiency may be due to failure of synthesis or delivery of endogenous GHRF from the hypothalamus to pituitary cells.
A radioimmunoassay for human growth hormone using activated charcoal is described and its precision, accuracy, and sensitivity are defined. Results are presented for growth hormone measurements in plasma obtained during hypoglycaemia induced with insulin in patients of short stature and during glucose tolerance tests in patients with acromegaly. The method was used to measure growth hormone concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid and in extracts of pituitary tumours. No growth hormone was detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients without acromegaly. In patients with acromegaly, the concentration of growth hormone in cerebrospinal fluid was measurable and was considerably elevated in one patient with extrasellar extension of a pituitary tumour. Extracts of chromophobe pituitary tumours contained very small concentrations of growth hormone. In extracts of pituitary tumours removed from acromegalic patients, concentrations fell either below or within the normal range.
Validity of biobank studies on hormone associated cancers depend on the extent the sample preservation is affecting the hormone measurements. We investigated the effect of long-term storage (up to 22 years) on immunoassay measurements of three groups of hormones and associated proteins: sex-steroids [estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dihydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)], pregnancy-specific hormones [human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), placental growth hormone (pGH), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)], and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family hormones exploiting the world largest serum bank, the Finnish Maternity Cohort (FMC). Hormones of interest were analyzed in a random sample of 154 Finnish women in the median age (29.5 years, range 25 to 34 years) of their first pregnancy with serum samples drawn during the first trimester. All hormone measurements were performed using commercial enzyme-linked- or radio-immunoassays. Storage time did not correlate with serum levels of testosterone, DHEAS, hCG, pGH and total IGFBP-1. It had a weak or moderate negative correlation with serum levels of progesterone (Spearman’s ranked correlation coefficient (rs)=− 0.36), IGF-I (rs=−0.23) and IGF binding protein (BP)-3 (rs=−0.38), and weak positive correlation with estradiol (rs=0.23), SHBG (rs=0.16), AFP (rs=0.20) and non-phosphorylated IGF binding protein (BP)-1 (rs=0.27). The variation of all hormone levels studied followed the kinetics reported for early pregnancy. Bench-lag time (the time between sample collection and freezing for storage) did not materially affect the serum hormone levels. In conclusion, the stored FMC serum samples can be used to study hormone-disease associations, but close matching for storage time and gestational day are necessary design components of all related biobank studies.
Nine normal volunteers and 15 patients with pituitary disorders were given a combined test of anterior pituitary function using four hypothalamic releasing factors and arginine vasopressin. Rapid sequential intravenous infusions of human corticotrophin releasing factor 100 micrograms, growth hormone releasing factor 100 micrograms, luteinising hormone releasing hormone 100 micrograms, and thyrotrophin releasing hormone 200 micrograms were administered. Arginine vasopressin (10 pressor units) was given intramuscularly at the same time. Plasma or serum samples were assayed for concentrations of cortisol, growth hormone, luteinising hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, and thyroid stimulating hormone at multiple times for 120 minutes. No troublesome side effects occurred. The results of the releasing factor combined test with arginine vasopressin were compared in the same subjects with a conventional combined test using insulin together with thyrotrophin releasing hormone and luteinising hormone releasing hormone. No difference was observed in the basal and peak concentrations of luteinising hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, and prolactin. Both cortisol and growth hormone responses to the releasing factors with arginine vasopressin were much greater than those seen with insulin induced hypoglycaemia or the combined releasing factors without arginine vasopressin. Patients with pituitary hypo-function were similarly recognised in both studies. There was a rapid increase in all hormone values with a peak usually by 60 minutes. In most people adequate assessment of individual hormone reserves may be achieved using basal, 30 minute, and 60 minute samples. This new combined releasing factor test appears to be a safe, rapid, and useful test of anterior pituitary function.
Although thyroid hormone is one of the most potent stimulators of growth and metabolic rate, the potential to use thyroid hormone to treat cutaneous pathology has never been subject to rigorous investigation. A number of investigators have demonstrated intriguing therapeutic potential for topical thyroid hormone. Topical T3 has accelerated wound healing and hair growth in rodents. Topical T4 has been used to treat xerosis in humans. It is clear that the use of thyroid hormone to treat cutaneous pathology may be of large consequence and merits further study. This is a review of the literature regarding thyroid hormone action on skin along with skin manifestations of thyroid disease. The paper is intended to provide a context for recent findings of direct thyroid hormone action on cutaneous cells in vitro and in vivo which may portend the use of thyroid hormone to promote wound healing.
Recombinant human growth hormone is used for the treatment of growth failure in children and metabolic dysfunction in adults with growth hormone deficiency. However, conventional growth hormone therapy requires daily subcutaneous injections that may affect treatment adherence, and subsequently efficacy outcomes. To enhance potential treatment adherence, improved ease of use of growth hormone delivery devices and long-acting growth hormone formulations are now being developed. Flexpro®, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in March 2010, is the most recent pen device developed by Novo Nordisk A/S to deliver Norditropin®. It is a multidose, premixed, preloaded, disposable pen device that requires relatively less force to inject and does not require refrigeration after initial use. Dose adjustments can be optimized by small dose increments of the pen delivery device at 0.025 mg, 0.05 mg and 0.1 mg. In addition, for patients with needle anxiety, NovoFine® needles, some of the shortest and thinnest available, and Autocover®, which hides the needle during injections, can be used with the Flexpro pen device. This article reviews the Norditropin Flexpro pen device in the context of other growth hormone delivery devices, sustained-release growth hormone formulations in development, and future prospects.
growth hormone; administration; adherence; treatment; pen; device
Adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) is being recognized increasingly and has been thought to be associated with premature mortality. Pituitary tumors are the commonest cause for AGHD. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) has been associated with neuropsychiatric-cognitive, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, metabolic, and skeletal abnormalities. Most of these can be reversed with growth hormone therapy. The insulin tolerance test still remains the gold standard dynamic test to diagnose AGHD. Growth hormone is administered subcutaneously once a day, titrated to clinical symptoms, signs and IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor-1). It is generally well tolerated at the low-doses used in adults. Pegylated human growth hormone therapy is on the horizon, with a convenient once a week dosing.
Adult growth hormone deficiency; growth hormone; growth hormone deficiency; hypopituitarism; panhypopituitarism
New facts have emerged about growth hormone (hgh) secretion in man giving rise to new conceptions and to new questions.
• In well-nourished, lean human beings growth hormone is released in early deep sleep and the pattern of release observed from night to night is fairly constant.
• The release of growth hormone in sleep occurs when plasma glucose is not fluctuating and after insulin has fallen to a very low level. Plasma-free fatty acids may rise about two hours later but insulin does not rise in response to nocturnal hgh release.
• The releases of growth hormone in sleep appear to meet the needs for a physiological test for the study of problems of growth. Correlations of this test with the many pharmacologic maneuvers in current use for diagnosis remain to be made.
• Growth hormone secretion as judged by plasma concentrations relates to protein intake, such that protein depletion initiates compensatory elevation of plasma concentrations of growth hormone. Further elevations may occur with glucose loading—so-called “paradoxical” responses. In contrast, there is compensatory suppression of growth hormone secretion in obesity. Repletion of protein in the malnourished and reduction of weight in obesity cause return toward normal secretion of hgh.
• Levodopa as a possible specific stimulus to growth hormone release has just been reported and the implications of this finding for the child of short stature cannot yet be assessed.
The availability of a sensitive assay for human growth hormone has made it possible to directly measure the effects of various agents purported to alter growth patterns. Acromegalic patients present a special problem both in early diagnosis and in therapy. Being able to measure growth hormone in these patients provides an accurate index of activity and a precise measure of therapeutic effectiveness.
In an attempt to determine whether a pituitary block of growth hormone secretion is feasible in this condition, a study was made of the effects of estrogen, androgen and glucocorticoid administration on growth hormone response to a standard insulin tolerance test in a patient with active acromegaly. In the dosage schedules used in this study, it was not possible to suppress either basal growth hormone secretion or blunt its responsiveness to the normal physiologic stimulus of hypoglycemia.
In an attempt to place a human beta-globin gene in an open chromatin domain regardless of its site of integration in the mouse genome, we microinjected into fertilized mouse eggs a construct in which the human beta-globin gene and a mouse metallothionein-human growth hormone fusion gene were juxtaposed and oriented in opposite directions. Mice that developed from injected eggs and that grew larger than normal were analyzed for human beta-globin mRNA. The globin genes were not expressed in erythroid tissue but were expressed with the same tissue specificity as metallothionein-human growth hormone. These results suggest that sequences which control metallothionein-human growth hormone gene expression are capable of stimulating the expression of a flanking gene in an orientation-independent and tissue-specific manner. As a control for this experiment, we deleted the metallothionein-human growth hormone transcription unit and noted that the human beta-globin gene then was expressed at high levels with erythroid tissue specificity.
The influence of catecholamines on growth hormone secretion has been difficult to establish previously, possibly because of the suppressive effect of the induced hyperglycemia on growth hormone concentrations. In this study, an adrenergic receptor control mechanism for human growth hormone (HGH) secretion was uncovered by studying the effects of alpha and beta receptor blockade on insulin-induced growth hormone elevations in volunteer subjects.
Alpha adrenergic blockade with phentolamine during insulin hypoglycemia, 0.1 U/kg, inhibited growth hormon elevations to 30-50% of values in the same subjects during insulin hypoglycemia without adrenergic blockade. More complete inhibition by phentolamine could not be demonstrated at a lower dose of insulin (0.05 U/kg). Beta adrenergic blockade with propranolol during insulin hypoglycemia significantly enhanced HGH concentrations in paired experiments. The inhibiting effect of alpha adrenergic receptor blockade on HGH concentrations could not be attributed to differences in blood glucose or free fatty acid values; however, more prolonged hypoglycemia and lower plasma free fatty acid values may have been a factor in the greater HGH concentrations observed during beta blockade. In the absence of insulin induced hypoglycemia, neither alpha nor beta adrenergic receptor blockade had a detectable effect on HGH concentrations. Theophylline, an inhibitor of cyclic 3′5′-AMP phosphodiesterase activity, also failed to alter plasma HGH concentrations.
These studies demonstrate a stimulatory effect of alpha receptors and a possible inhibitory effect of beta receptors on growth hormone secretion.
Management of patients with metastatic hormone receptor-positive breast cancer poses a challenge due to the inevitable development of endocrine resistance. Hormone resistance is associated with a complex interaction of the estrogen receptor with growth factors, transmembrane receptors, and intracellular growth cascades. The PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway plays a major role in hormone resistance and proliferation of breast cancer. Preclinical and clinical data indicate that inhibitors of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, epidermal growth factor receptor, insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor, and the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway may act synergistically with hormone therapy to circumvent endocrine resistance. Everolimus is currently approved for combination with exemestane in postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. However, we still need to unfold the full potential of targeted agents in the hormone-refractory setting and to identify the subsets of patients who will benefit from combination hormonal therapy using targeted agents.
everolimus; estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer; hormone resistance; mammalian target of rapamycin; inhibition
Aneuploidy and genomic instability are common features of human cancers, including breast cancer; however, mechanisms by which such abnormalities develop are not understood. The exquisite dependence of the mammary gland on hormones for growth and development as well as hormonal contributions to breast cancer risk and progression suggest that tumorigenic mechanisms in the breast should be considered in the context of hormonal stimulation. We used transgenic mice that overexpress luteinizing hormone with subsequent ovarian hyperstimulation as a model to identify mechanisms involved in hormone-induced mammary cancer. Tumor pathology in these mice is highly variable, suggesting individual tumors undergo distinct initiating or promoting events. Supporting this notion, hormone-induced tumors display considerable chromosomal instability and aneuploidy, despite the presence of functional p53. The presence of extensive centrosome amplification in tumors and hyperplastic glands prior to tumor formation suggests that alterations in the ovarian hormonal milieu dysregulate the centrosome cycle in mammary epithelial cells, leading to aneuploidy and cancer.
breast cancer; mammary gland; ovarian steroids; p53; centrosome; aneuploidy
Almost all prostate cancers respond to androgen deprivation treatment but many recur. We postulated that risk of hormone escape -frequency and delay- are influenced by hormone therapy modalities. More, hormone therapies induce crucial biological changes involving androgen receptors; some might be targets for escape prevention. We investigated the relationship between the androgen deprivation treatment and the risk of recurrence using nude mice bearing the high grade, hormone-dependent human prostate cancer xenograft PAC120. Tumor-bearing mice were treated by Luteinizing-Hormone Releasing Hormone (LHRH) antagonist alone, continuous or intermittent regimen, or combined with androgen receptor (AR) antagonists (bicalutamide or flutamide). Tumor growth was monitored. Biological changes were studied as for genomic alterations, AR mutations and protein expression in a large series of recurrent tumors according to hormone therapy modalities. Therapies targeting Her-2 or AKT were tested in combination with castration. All statistical tests were two-sided. Tumor growth was inhibited by continuous administration of the LH-RH antagonist degarelix (castration), but 40% of tumors recurred. Intermittent castration or complete blockade induced by degarelix and antiandrogens combination, inhibited tumor growth but increased the risk of recurrence (RR) as compared to continuous castration (RRintermittent: 14.5, RRcomplete blockade: 6.5 and 1.35). All recurrent tumors displayed new quantitative genetic alterations and AR mutations, whatever the treatment modalities. AR amplification was found after complete blockade. Increased expression of Her-2/neu with frequent ERK/AKT activation was detected in all variants. Combination of castration with a Her-2/neu inhibitor decreased recurrence risk (0.17) and combination with an mTOR inhibitor prevented it. Anti-hormone treatments influence risk of recurrence although tumor growth inhibition was initially similar. Recurrent tumors displayed genetic instability, AR mutations, and alterations of phosphorylation pathways. We postulated that Her-2/AKT pathways allowed salvage of tumor cells under castration and we demonstrated that their inhibition prevented tumor recurrence in our model.
In order to investigate the effect of fenfluramine on hormonal and metabolic changes with exercise, five normal volunteers have been studied during and after 20 minutes of steady exercise on a bicycle ergometer after injection of fenfluramine (20 mg intravenously). Fenfluramine abolished the rise of plasma human growth hormone (HGH) which occurred in control investigations. Fenfluramine also affected plasma insulin, blood glucose, and ketone body levels.
The acute effect of fenfluramine on the release of growth hormone was examined further by studying its effect in patients with acromegaly. A marked depression of growth hormone occurred both at rest and with exercise. These observations indicate that fenfluramine has a direct effect on pathways controlling growth hormone release. We also suggest that this action may have practical use in the medical treatment of acromegaly.
To study the individual effects of glucagon and growth hormone on human carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, endogenous secretion of both hormones was simultaneously suppressed with somatostatin and physiologic circulating levels of one or the other hormone were reproduced by exogenous infusion. The interaction of these hormones with insulin was evaluated by performing these studies in juvenile-onset, insulin-deficient diabetic subjects both during infusion of insulin and after its withdrawal. Infusion of glucagon (1 ng/kg-min) during suppression of its endogenous secretion with somatostatin produced circulating hormone levels of approximately 200 pg/ml. When glucagon was infused along with insulin, plasma glucose levels rose from 94 +/- 8 to 126 +/- 12 mg/100 ml over 1 h (P less than 0.01); growth hormone, beta-hydroxy-butyrate, alanine, FFA, and glycerol levels did not change. When insulin was withdrawn, plasma glucose, beta-hydroxybutyrate, FFA, and glycerol all rose to higher levels (P less than 0.01) than those observed under similar conditions when somatostatin alone had been infused to suppress glucagon secretion. Thus, under appropriate conditions, physiologic levels of glucagon can stimulate lipolysis and cause hyperketonemia and hyperglycemia in man; insulin antagonizes the lipolytic and ketogenic effects of glucagon more effectively than the hyperglycemic effect. Infusion of growth hormone (1 mug/kg-h) during suppression of its endogenous secretion with somastostatin produced circulating hormone levels of approximately 6 ng/ml. When growth hormone was administered along with insulin, no effects were observed. After insulin was withdrawn, plasma beta-hydroxybutyrate, glycerol, and FFA all rose to higher levels (P less than 0.01) than those observed during infusion of somatostatin alone when growth hormone secretion was suppressed; no difference in plasma glucose, alanine, and glucagon levels was evident. Thus, under appropriate conditions, physiologic levels of growth hormone can augment lipolysis and ketonemia in man, but these actions are ordinarily not apparent in the presence of physiologic levels of insulin.