Effects of isolated GH deficiency on adipose tissue, feeding and adipokines in mice

Lucia Recinella, Rugia Shohreh, Roberto Salvatori, Giustino Orlando, Michele Vacca, Luigi Brunetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) leads to growth failure and changes in body composition including increased fat accumulation and reduced lean body mass in both humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to characterize the consequences of isolated GHD (IGHD) on adiposity, total body weight (TBW), and food intake in a mouse model of autosomal recessive IGHD due to targeted ablation of the GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) gene [GHRH knockout (GHRHKO)]. Animals were also analyzed with respect to leptin, adiponectin and visfatin circulating levels and gene expression in both intra-abdominal and subcutaneous fat. Design: We studied 8 male mice homozygous for GHRHKO allele (-/-) and 8 heterozygous (+/-) animals as controls. Feeding and TBW data were collected weekly from 3 through 5. months of age. Animals were then euthanized for measurement of body length and intra-abdominal (epididymal and retroperitoneal) and subcutaneous (interscapular, axillary, gluteal and inguinal) fat weights, and for blood collection for leptin, adiponectin and visfatin measurement. Gene expression of leptin, adiponectin and visfatin in adipose tissue was evaluated by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Results: GHRHKO mice had significantly increased relative intra-abdominal (P<0.01) and subcutaneous (P<0.0001) fat, accompanied by significantly increased food intake per TBW (P<0.01), whereas - despite 40% higher food consumption - TBW change was not different from controls over the 2. month period. Adiponectin and visfatin mRNA levels were decreased in both intra-abdominal ( P<0.001) and subcutaneous fat ( P<0.0001), while leptin mRNA levels were not different from controls. Conversely, serum adiponectin levels were higher in GHRHKO mice ( P< 0.0001), whereas serum visfatin and leptin did not significantly differ from controls. Conclusions: IGHD due to targeted ablation of the GHRH gene in mice is associated with increased relative subcutaneous and intra-abdominal fat mass and higher food consumption which is not related to changes in circulating leptin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalGrowth Hormone and IGF Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Adiponectin
  • Food intake
  • Growth hormone-releasing hormone knockout
  • Intra-abdominal fat
  • Leptin
  • Subcutaneous fat
  • Visfatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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