Basic Research
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2002. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Jun 15, 2002; 8(3): 531-536
Published online Jun 15, 2002. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v8.i3.531
The role of endotoxin, TNF-α, and IL-6 in inducing the state of growth hormone insensitivity
Ping Wang, Ning Li, Jie-Shou Li, Wei-Qin Li
Ping Wang, Ning Li, Jie-Shou Li, Wei-Qin Li, Medical College of Nanjing University, Research Institute of General Surgery, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing 210002, Jiangsu Province, China
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to the work.
Supported by the key project of the tenth-five foundation of PLA, No. 01Z011.
Correspondence to: Ping Wang, Research Institute of General Surgery, Jinling Hospital, 305 Zhong Shan East Road, Nanjing 210002, Jiangsu Province, China.
Telephone: +86-25-4826808 Ext 58067
Received: December 5, 2001
Revised: December 23, 2001
Accepted: January 28, 2002
Published online: June 15, 2002

AIM: Critical illnesses such as sepsis, trauma, and burns cause a growth hormone insensitivity, which leads to an increased negative nitrogen balance. Endotoxin is generously released into blood under these conditions and stimulates the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1, which may play a very important role in inducing the growth hormone insensitivity. The objective of this current study was to investigate the role of endotoxin, TNF-α and IL-6 in inducing the growth hormone insensitivity at the receptor and post-receptor levels.

METHODS: Spague-Dawley rats were injected with endotoxin, TNF-α, and IL-6, respectively and part of rats injected with endotoxin was treated with exogenous somatotropin simultaneously. All rats were killed at different time points. The expression of IGF-I, GHR, SOCS-3 and β-actin mRNA in the liver was detected by RT-PCR and the GH levels were measured by radioimmunoassay, the levels of TNF-α and IL-6 were detected by ELISA.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference in serous GH levels between experimental group and control rats after endotoxin injection, however, liver IGF-I mRNA expression had been obviously down-regulated in endotoxemic rats. Liver GHR mRNA expression also had a predominant down-regulation after endotoxin injection. The lowest regulation of liver IGF-I mRNA expression occurred at 12 h after LPS injection, being decreased by 53% compared with control rats. For GHR mRNA expression, the lowest expression occurred at 8 h and had a 81% decrease. Although SOCS-3 mRNA was weakly expressed in control rats, it was strongly up-regulated after LPS injection and had a 7.84 times increase compared with control rats. Exogenous GH could enhance IGF-I mRNA expression in control rats, but it did fail to prevent the decline in IGF-I mRNA expression in endotoxemic rats. Endotoxin stimulated the production of TNF-α and IL-6, and the elevated IL-6 levels was shown a positive correlation with increased SOCS-3 mRNA expression. The liver GHR mRNA expression was obviously down-regulated after TNF-α iv injection and had a 40% decrease at 8 h, but the liver SOCS-3 mRNA expression was the 4.94 times up-regulation occurred at 40 min after IL-6 injection.

CONCLUSION: The growth hormone insensitivity could be induced by LPS injection, which was associated with down-regulated GHR mRNA expression at receptor level and with up-regulated SOCS-3 mRNA expression at post-receptor level. The in vivo biological activities of LPS were mediated by TNF-α and IL-6 indirectly, and TNF-α and IL-6 may exert their effects on the receptor and post-receptor levels respectively.

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