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Impact of short-term estrogen administration on growth hormone secretion and action: distinct route-dependent effects on connective and bone tissue metabolism


We recently reported that estrogen exerts distinct effects on the GH/IGF-1 axis that are dependent on the route of delivery, probably reflecting a first-pass effect on hepatic IGF-1 production. Oral administration reduces IGF-1 and increases GH levels; transdermal administration elevates IGF-1 without changing GH concentrations. Since mesenchymal tissue is a target for GH and IGF-1 action, we studied changes in the GH/IGF-1 axis following oral (ethinyl estradiol, 20 micrograms/day) versus transdermal (Estraderm 100 TTS, Ciba Geigy, 100 micrograms 17 beta-estradiol per day) estrogen delivery and compared corresponding effects on connective and bone tissue metabolism. Mean 24 h GH levels, IGF-1, markers of fibroblast (procollagen III) and osteoblast (procollagen I, osteocalcin) function, and indices of bone turnover (fasting urinary hydroxyproline and calcium to creatinine ratios, UOHPr/Cr and UCa/Cr) were measured before and after 2 months of either oral or transdermal therapy in two groups of postmenopausal women. Transdermal estrogen administration significantly (p less than 0.05) increased IGF-1, procollagen III, procollagen I, osteocalcin, and UOHPr/Cr. In contrast, oral estrogen administration had a suppressive effect; the levels of IGF-1 (p = 0.001), procollagen III (p = 0.018), procollagen I (p = 0.002), osteocalcin (p = 0.015), and UOHPr/Cr (p = 0.004) were significantly different from those measured during transdermal administration. Both treatments significantly reduced UCa/Cr (p less than 0.015). IGF-1 changes during estrogen therapy were significantly related (p less than 0.05) to changes in procollagen III, procollagen I, osteocalcin, and UOHPr/Cr. Transdermally delivered estrogen stimulates IGF-1 production, increases osteoblastic function, and stimulates bone and nonbone collagen synthesis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Type Journal
ISBN 0884-0431 (Print)
Authors Ho, K. K.;Weissberger, A. J. :
Published Date 1992-01-01
Published Volume 7
Published Issue 7
Published Pages 821-7
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version