Insulin sensitivity and the activity of the hypothalamic-growth hormone (GH)- insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) axis both decline with age. Treatment with IGF-I increases insulin sensitivity in healthy young subjects. We hypothesized that increasing plasma IGF-I in postmenopausal women to levels characteristic of young women would enhance insulin sensitivity. To test the hypothesis, fasting glucose kinetics and insulin sensitivity were measured in 24 healthy, normoglycemic, postmenopausal women before and after 5 weeks of treatment with either recombinant human (rh)IGF-I (15 microg/kg body weight/d twice daily) or placebo in a double-blind study. Diet energy content and composition were rigidly controlled to maintain energy balance. A hyperglycemic clamp (8 mmol/L) coupled with stable isotope infusion ([6,6(2)H]glucose) was performed before and after treatment to assess whole-body insulin sensitivity; defined as the glucose rate of disappearance (Rd) or rate of infusion (GRIF) scaled to the steady-state insulin concentration (I). There were no differences in fasting glucose or insulin concentrations, glucose kinetics, or glucose oxidation after either treatment. During the clamps, steady-state insulin concentrations with placebo (pre = 151 +/- 28 pmol/L, post = 173 +/- 31 pmol/L) were slightly different than with IGF-I (pre = 182 +/- 37 pmol/L, post = 163 +/- 33 pmol/L), but the variations were not significant. No significant changes in whole-body insulin sensitivity were observed after treatment with IGF-I, calculated as Rd/I (pre = 17.7 +/- 2.6 microg/kg/min/pmol/L, post = 19.3 +/- 2.0 microg/kg/min/pmol/L for IGF-I v pre = 24.2 +/- 2.5 microg/kg/min/pmol/L, post = 22.8 +/- 3.4 microg/kg/min/pmol/L for placebo) or as GRIF/I (pre = 18.0 +/- 3.9 microg/kg/min/pmol/L, post = 22.3 +/- 3.5 microg/kg/min/pmol/L for IGF-I v pre = 26.4 +/- 6.2 microg/kg/min/pmol/L, post = 26.9 +/- 4.8 microg/kg/min/pmol/L for placebo). Baseline insulin sensitivity in women using hormone replacement therapy (HRT, n = 15) was similar to nonusers (n = 9), but HRT users derived a greater portion of energy expenditure from carbohydrate oxidation compared with nonusers. HRT use had no impact on the response to IGF-I. Overall, we observed subtle, but physiologically insignificant, variations after IGF-I treatment in the direction of enhanced insulin sensitivity. The data suggest that 5 weeks of low-dose rhIGF-I treatment has no material influence on whole-body insulin sensitivity in normoglycemic postmenopausal women.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/barry_braun/12/