Short-term effects of growth hormone on myocardial glucose uptake in healthy humans

Hans Erik Bøtker, Henrik Wiggers, Morten Bøttcher, Jens Sandahl Christiansen, Torsten Toftegaard Nielsen, Albert Gjedde, Ole Schmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiac muscle is characterized by insulin resistance in specific heart diseases such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, but not in generalized disorders like diabetes mellitus and essential hypertension when cardiac manifestations are absent. To examine whether the insulin antagonistic effect of growth hormone (GH) acts upon the heart, we compared insulin-stimulated whole body and myocardial glucose uptake with and without GH administration during a 3.5-h euglycemic-hyper-insulinemic clamp in eight healthy males. Myocardial 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose uptake was measured with positron emission tomography. The data were converted to myocardial glucose uptake by tracer kinetic analysis. GH did not change the rate-pressure product. GH decreased whole body insulin-stimulated glucose disposal by 26% (48.0 ± 12.1 vs. control 62.8 ± 6.1 μmol·kg-1·min-1, P < 0.02). Free fatty acids were suppressed to a similar extent with and without GH during the insulin clamp. Insulin-stimulated myocardial glucose uptake was similar in the presence and in the absence of GH (0.34 ± 0.05 and 0.31 ± 0.03 μmol·g-1·min-1, P = 0.18). In conclusion, GH does not impair insulin-stimulated myocardial glucose uptake despite a considerable whole body insulin antagonistic effect. Myocardial insulin resistance is not an inherent consequence of whole body insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1053-E1059
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 41-6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • Heart
  • Heart failure
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolism
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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