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November 1997

Growth Hormone Attenuates the Acute-Phase Response to Thermal Injury

Author Affiliations

From the Shriners Burns Institute–Galveston Unit (Drs Jarrar, Wolf, Jeschke, Ramirez, DebRoy, and Herndon) and the Departments of Surgery (Drs Wolf and Herndon) and Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics (Dr Papaconstaninou), University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, and the Shriners Burns Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Ogle).

Arch Surg. 1997;132(11):1171-1176. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430350021003

Objective:  To determine the effects of growth hormone (GH) on the hepatic acute-phase response (APR) in a burned rat model.

Setting:  Laboratory.

Material:  Male Sprague-Dawley rats (weight, 300-350 g).

Interventions:  Rats underwent a 40% total body surface area burn injury and received GH or saline solution daily by subcutaneous injection. Unburned rats served as controls.

Main Outcome Measures:  Hepatic messenger RNA (mRNA) expression and serum levels of α1-acid glycoprotein and albumin were determined 2, 7, and 14 days after injury.

Results:  The serum α1-acid glycoprotein levels in GH-treated animals did not increase on days 2 and 7, whereas saline-treated animals showed a major increase. Hepatic mRNA expression increased dramatically on day 2 for burned groups; however, the mRNA pool levels of GH-treated animals showed a faster rate of decline to control levels on days 7 and 14. The albumin mRNA pool levels of GH-treated and control animals did not show significant differences, whereas the negative APR, indicated by loss of albumin mRNA, was more pronounced on day 7 in the saline-treated animals. By day 14, mRNA levels were comparable in all 3 groups.

Conclusion:  Growth hormone attenuated the positive APR, as indicated by a decrease in α1-acid glycoprotein expression and production, and prevented the negative APR, as seen by an absence of a decline of albumin mRNA pool levels and serum concentration. We conclude that the beneficial effects of GH on thermal injury may be due in part to a modification of the APR.Arch Surg. 1997;132:1171-1175