Effects of 42 months of GH treatment on bone mineral density and bone turnover in GH-deficient adults.
Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) is an important anabolic factor for osteoblasts in vitro. Low plasma levels of IGF-I have been observed in young men with osteoporosis. In the present study, we have studied bone mineral density (BMD) and the circulating levels of IGF-I and growth hormone (GH) in adults with acquired GH deficiency. BMD was determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in 17 men and 12 women (age 27-54 years). Spinal BMD was positively correlated with the plasma levels of IGF-I (r = 0.43, P = 0.019), with the median of GH values obtained by repeated sampling at night (r = 0.43, P = 0.0019), and with the peak of GH values during GHRH provocation test (r = 0.49, P = 0.039). The total BMD was positively related to plasma IGF-I and median of GH values, but not to peak GH by GHRH provocation. In a multiple regression analysis model, IGF-I, peak GH by GHRH provocation test and duration of GH deficiency explained 49% of the variation in spinal BMD. As compared to healthy controls, total, but not spinal, bone mass was lower in men with GH deficiency, but no clinical symptoms of osteoporosis were observed. The positive relationships between BMD and circulating IGF-I and other indices of GH secretion suggest that IGF-I has an endocrine effect on bone mass.