Background. The effects of exogenous recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) on hepatic acute phase reactant proteins, cytokine expression, and liver morphology were studied in thermally injured rats to define whether rhGH alters the acute phase response. Materials and methods. Sprague-Dawley rats (56 males) receiving a 60% TBSA third-degree scald burn were randomly divided into two groups to receive either 2.5 mg/kg/day sc rhGH or saline. Rats were sacrificed on Postburn Days 1, 2, 5, and 7. Serum acute phase reactant proteins and cytokines TNF-α, IL-1α, IL-1β, and IL-6 were measured. Hepatocyte proliferation, hepatic cytokine gene expression, and liver protein concentrations were determined. Results. Recombinant hGH increased serum albumin on Days 5 and 7 after burn (P < 0.05). Serum haptoglobin and α1-acid glycoprotein levels decreased at 2, 5, and 7 days after burn compared to saline (P < 0.05). In rats treated with rhGH, serum IL-1β decreased 1 day postburn, while serum TNF-α increased 5 days after burn compared to saline (P < 0.05). Serum IL-6 and IL-1α did not change. Hepatic RNA levels for TNF-α were significantly elevated on Day 1 postburn compared to saline (P < 0.05). Hepatic protein content increased on Days 2, 5, and 7 postburn compared to saline (P < 0.05). Hepatocyte proliferation in rhGH-treated rats increased on Day 5 after burn (P < 0.05). Conclusion. Data indicate that rhGH alters the hepatic acute phase response by decreasing type I acute phase proteins and modulating IL-1-like cytokine expression. These changes are associated with increased hepatocyte mitosis and serum and total liver protein concentrations.
- Acute phase proteins
- Acute phase response
- Constitutive hepatic proteins
- Recombinant human growth hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas