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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Diabetes and Endocrinology - Pediatrics and Child Health - Physiology

Growth Hormone Improves Growth Retardation Induced by Rapamycin without Blocking Its Antiproliferative and Antiangiogenic Effects on Rat Growth Plate
Published: Friday, April 06, 2012
Author: Óscar Álvarez-García et al.

by Óscar Álvarez-García, Enrique García-López, Vanessa Loredo, Helena Gil-Peña, Natalia Mejía-Gaviria, Julián Rodríguez-Suárez, Flor Á. Ordóñez, Fernando Santos

Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant agent used in renal transplantation with antitumoral properties, has been reported to impair longitudinal growth in young individuals. As growth hormone (GH) can be used to treat growth retardation in transplanted children, we aimed this study to find out the effect of GH therapy in a model of young rat with growth retardation induced by rapamycin administration. Three groups of 4-week-old rats treated with vehicle (C), daily injections of rapamycin alone (RAPA) or in combination with GH (RGH) at pharmacological doses for 1 week were compared. GH treatment caused a 20% increase in both growth velocity and body length in RGH animals when compared with RAPA group. GH treatment did not increase circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor I, a systemic mediator of GH actions. Instead, GH promoted the maturation and hypertrophy of growth plate chondrocytes, an effect likely related to AKT and ERK1/2 mediated inactivation of GSK3ß, increase of glycogen deposits and stabilization of ß-catenin. Interestingly, GH did not interfere with the antiproliferative and antiangiogenic activities of rapamycin in the growth plate and did not cause changes in chondrocyte autophagy markers. In summary, these findings indicate that GH administration improves longitudinal growth in rapamycin-treated rats by specifically acting on the process of growth plate chondrocyte hypertrophy but not by counteracting the effects of rapamycin on proliferation and angiogenesis.
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