Biological effects of growth hormone on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism

Archana Vijayakumar, Ruslan Novosyadlyy, Ying Jie Wu, Shoshana Yakar, Derek LeRoith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


This review will summarize the metabolic effects of growth hormone (GH) on the adipose tissue, liver, and skeletal muscle with focus on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. The metabolic effects of GH predominantly involve the stimulation of lipolysis in the adipose tissue resulting in an increased flux of free fatty acids (FFAs) into the circulation. In the muscle and liver, GH stimulates triglyceride (TG) uptake, by enhancing lipoprotein lipase (LPL) expression, and its subsequent storage. The effects of GH on carbohydrate metabolism are more complicated and may be mediated indirectly via the antagonism of insulin action. Furthermore, GH has a net anabolic effect on protein metabolism although the molecular mechanisms of its actions are not completely understood. The major questions that still remain to be answered are (i) What are the molecular mechanisms by which GH regulates substrate metabolism? (ii) Does GH affect substrate metabolism directly or indirectly via IGF-1 or antagonism of insulin action?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalGrowth Hormone and IGF Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Carbohydrate
  • GH
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lipids
  • Metabolism


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