Resistance to growth hormone (GH) in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) causes growth retardation and muscle wasting. In humans, circulating GH binding protein (GHBP), the extracellular domain of the GH receptor that is shed into the circulation and is believed to reflect tissue GH receptor levels, is reduced in uremia and suggests that cellular GH receptor levels are correspondingly reduced. If true, this could be a cause of GH resistance. We set out to establish whether serum GHBP levels reflect cellular GH receptor levels and whether changes in serum GHBP levels are related to nutritional or inflammatory status.GH receptor protein expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 21 ESRD and 14 normal subjects were analyzed by fluorochrome flow cytometry.The GH receptor density and percent total PBMCs expressing the GH receptor were similar in the 2 groups, and there was no difference in percent GH receptor positive T or B cells or monocytes. In contrast, serum GHBP levels were 80% lower in ESRD. GHBP levels did not correlate with serum albumin, body mass index, or muscle mass but seemed to be partly related to the log serum C-reactive protein levels.Serum GHBP levels are markedly reduced in ESRD; this seems to occur independent of nutritional status and may in part be caused by inflammation. Because GH receptor expression on PBMC of ESRD and control subjects was similar, our findings argue against a reduction in GH receptor as a cause of GH resistance and the use of serum GHBP levels as a reliable marker of specific tissue GH receptor levels.
View details for DOI 10.1053/j.jrn.2006.01.007
View details for Web of Science ID 000236735600007
View details for PubMedID 16567271