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Increase of fat oxidation and weight loss in obese mice caused by chronic treatment with human growth hormone or a modified C-terminal fragment


OBJECTIVE: To observe the chronic effects of human growth hormone (hGH) and AOD9604 (a C-terminal fragment of hGH) on body weight, energy balance, and substrate oxidation rates in obese (ob/ob) and lean C57BL/6Jmice. In vitro assays were used to confirm whether the effects of AOD9604 are mediated through the hGH receptor, and if this peptide is capable of cell proliferation via the hGH receptor.

METHOD: Obese and lean mice were treated with hGH, AOD or saline for 14 days using mini-osmotic pumps. Body weight, caloric intake, resting energy expenditure, fat oxidation, glucose oxidation, and plasma glucose, insulin and glycerol were measured before and after treatment. BaF-BO3 cells transfected with the hGH receptor were used to measure in vitro 125I-hGH receptor binding and cell proliferation.

RESULTS: Both hGH and AOD significantly reduced body weight gain in obese mice. This was associated with increased in vivo fat oxidation and increased plasma glycerol levels (an index of lipolysis). Unlike hGH, however, AOD9604 did not induce hyperglycaemia or reduce insulin secretion. AOD9604 does not compete for the hGH receptor and nor does it induce cell proliferation, unlike hGH.

CONCLUSIONS: Both hGH and its C-terminal fragment reduce body weight gain, increase fat oxidation, and stimulate lipolysis in obese mice, yet AOD9604 does not interact with the hGH receptor. Thus, the concept of hGH behaving as a pro-hormone is further confirmed. This data shows that fragments of hGH can act in a manner novel to traditional hGH-stimulated pathways.

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Thanks to Mr Anthony Civitarese for assistance with indirect calorimetry, and to Mr Ray Spark for plasma glucose analysis. This work was supported by Metabolic Pharmaceuticals.

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Correspondence to FM Ng.

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Heffernan, M., Thorburn, A., Fam, B. et al. Increase of fat oxidation and weight loss in obese mice caused by chronic treatment with human growth hormone or a modified C-terminal fragment. Int J Obes 25, 1442–1449 (2001).

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  • human growth hormone fragment
  • body weight
  • energy expenditure
  • lipolysis
  • growth hormone receptor

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