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Initial characterization of the GH-IGF axis and nutritional status of the Ati Negritos of the Philippines


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The Ati Negritos are a Pygmy-like aboriginal population from the Philippines with physical characteristics of short stature, dark skin and woolly, kinked hair. Their final height, components of their GH-IGF axis and various nutritional markers are described. SUBJECTS, DESIGN AND MEASUREMENTS: Auxological data and sera for the components of the GH-IGF axis and nutritional parameters were collected from 9 adult Ati Negritos in their native environment and 10 Filipinos in Sydney. RESULTS: The height SDS (- 3.66 +/- 1.1 vs. - 1.01 +/- 1.2), weight SDS (- 2.30 +/- 1.6 vs. 0.10 +/- 0.7), and BMI SDS (- 1.4 +/- 1.8 vs. - 0.2 +/- 0.5) between the two groups were significantly different (P < 0.01). The mean height of the 6 male Ati Negritos was 149 +/- 7 and 144 +/- 3 cm for the females and are comparable with the African Pygmies and the Mountain Ok people of Papua New Guinea. The Ati Negritos showed lower growth hormone binding protein (GHBP), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), acid labile subunit (ALS), zinc, albumin, ferritin, iron, iron saturation and much higher insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP-2) and plasma transferrin concentrations. No differences were noted in random growth hormone (GH), plasma insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II), nor in their plasma concentrations of prealbumin, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (T4). CONCLUSION: Perturbations of both the GH-IGF-I axis and nutritional markers exist in the Ati Negritos. These findings may be determinants of their stature; however, the aetiology of these changes remains to be fully elucidated.

Type Journal
ISBN 0300-0664 (Print)
Authors Clavano-Harding, A. B.;Ambler, G. R.;Cowell, C. T.;Garnett, S. P.;Al-Toumah, B.;Coakley, J. C.;Ho, K. K.;Baxter, R. C. :
Published Date 1999-01-01
Published Volume 51
Published Issue 6
Published Pages 741-7
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version