Central and peripheral actions of somatostatin on the growth hormone-IGF-I axis

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Somatostatin (SRIF) analogs provide safe and effective therapy for acromegaly. In a proportion of patients, however, SRIF analogs may lead to discordant growth hormone (GH) and IGF-I suppression, which suggests a more complex mechanism than attributable to inhibition of GH release alone. To elucidate whether SRIF acts peripherally on the GH-IGF-I axis, we showed that rat hepatocytes express somatostatin receptor subtypes-2 and -3 and that IGF-I mRNA and protein levels were suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by administration of octreotide. The inhibitory effect of SRIF was not apparent without added GH and in the presence of GH was specific for IGF-I induction and did not inhibit GH-induced c-myc or extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. Pertussis toxin treatment of hepatocytes incubated with GH and SRIF, or with GH and octreotide, abrogated the inhibitory effect on GH-induced IGF-I, which confirms the requirement for the inhibitory G-protein. Treatment with SRIF and GH increased protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) activity and inhibited signal transducer and activator of transcription-5b (STAT5b) phosphorylation and nuclear localization. Octreotide also inhibited GH-stimulated IGF-I protein content of ex vivo-perfused rat livers. The results demonstrate that SRIF acts both centrally and peripherally to control the GH-IGF-I axis, providing a mechanistic explanation for SRIF analog action in treating patients with GH-secreting pituitary adenomas.

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