Native and recombinant bovine growth hormone antagonize insulin action in cultured bovine adipose tissue

Terry D. Etherton, Christina M. Evock, Ronald S. Kensinger

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33 Scopus citations


The current study was undertaken to determine if pituitary bovine GH (pbGH) and recombinant bGH (rbGH) antagonized insulin action in bovine adipose tissue after acute (2-h) and chronic (48-h) exposure and whether this was an intrinsic property of bGH. Insulin action (measured as the effect on incorporation of acetate-carbon into long-chain fatty acids) was unaffected by bGH in short term incubations regardless of whether hydrocortisone (HC) was present. After 48 h of culture, however, both pbGH and rbGH similarly antagonized the ability of insulin to maintain lipogenic capacity. This antagonism was dependent upon the presence of HC and was dose dependent, with half-maximal inhibition of insulin action occurring at about 0.5 ng/ml bGH. Bovine PRL did not mimic the effects of bGH on insulin action. These results establish that bGH antagonizes insulin action in bovine adipose tissue and that this effect is dependent upon long term exposure and the inclusion of HC in the culture medium. The fact that both rbGH and pbGH acted similarly indicates that this is an intrinsic property of bGH. The effect of bGH on insulin-dependent maintenance of lipogenic capacity may play an important role in redirecting nutrients away from adipose tissue to other tissues, such as muscle or mammary tissue. It is speculated that this metabolic effect of bGH plays an important role in the adaptive response to chronic bGH treatment, which increases milk yield of dairy cows and growth performance of beef cattle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-703
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1987


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology

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