The effects of growth hormone (GH) replacement on plasma lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), and phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP), factors involved in high density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism, are unknown. We carried out a 6 months study in 24 GH-deficient adults who were randomized to placebo (n = 8), low dose GH (1 U daily, n = 8), and high dose GH (2 U daily, n = 8), followed by a 6 months open extension study with high dose GH (1 drop-out). No significant changes in plasma lipoproteins, LCAT, CETP, and PLTP activities, cholesterol esterification (EST) and cholesteryl ester transfer (CET) were observed after placebo. After 6 months of GH (combined data, n = 24), very low + low density lipoprotein (VLDL + LDL) cholesterol (P < 0.05) and apolipoprotein B (P < 0.05) decreased, whereas HDL cholesterol and HDL cholesteryl ester increased (P < 0. 05). Prolonged treatment showed comparable effects. Plasma apolipoprotein A-I and Lp[a] remained unchanged. Plasma LCAT (P < 0. 01) and CETP activities (P < 0.01), as well as EST (P < 0.01) and CET decreased (P < 0.01) after 12 months of GH (n = 15), but PLTP activity did not significantly change. Changes in EST and CET after 12 months of treatment were independently related to changes in plasma LCAT (P = 0.001 and CETP activity (P = 0.01). In conclusion, GH replacement therapy improves the lipoprotein profile in GH-deficient adults. Chronic GH replacement lowers plasma LCAT and CETP activities, contributing to a decrease in cholesterol esterification and cholesteryl ester transfer. These effects may have consequences for HDL metabolism and reverse cholesterol transport.

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Journal of Lipid Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Beentjes, J. A., van Tol, A., Sluiter, W., & Dullaart, R. (2000). Effect of growth hormone replacement therapy on plasma lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase and lipid transfer protein activities in growth hormone-deficient adults. Journal of Lipid Research. Retrieved from