Purpose: While growth hormone (GH) and the insulin-like growth factor type I (IGF-I) are known to exert synergistic actions on muscle anabolism, the consequences of prolonged GH deficiency (GHD) on muscle function have not been well defined. We have previously described a large cohort of subjects with isolated GHD (IGHD) caused by a mutation in the GH-releasing hormone receptor gene, with low serum levels of GH and IGF-I. The aim of this study was to assess muscular function in these IGHD subjects. Methods: A total of 31 GH-naïve IGHD (16 males) and 40 control (20 males) subjects, matched by age and degree of daily physical activity, were enrolled. Fat free mass was measured by bioelectrical impedance; muscle strength by dynamometry of handgrip, trunk extension, and knee extension; myoelectric activity and muscle fatigue by fractal dimension; conduction velocity in vastus medialis, rectus femoris, and vastus lateralis muscles by surface electromyography. Results: The IGHD group showed higher knee extension strength both when corrected for weight and fat free mass, and higher handgrip and trunk extension strength corrected by fat free mass. They also exhibit higher conduction velocity of the muscles vastus medialis, rectus femoris, and vastus lateralis, but lower free fat mass and myoelectric activity of the vastus medialis, rectus femoris and vastus lateralis. There were no differences between the two groups in fractal dimension in all studied muscles. Conclusion: Individuals with untreated IGHD have better muscle strength parameters adjusted for weight and fat free mass than controls. They also exhibit greater peripheral resistance to fatigue, demonstrating satisfactory muscle function.
- GH; IGF-I
- GHRH receptor
- Muscle function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism