Amino acids as substrates in children with growth hormone deficiency and hypoglycemia

S. LaFranchi, N. R.M. Buist, B. Jhaveri, H. Klevit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In order to investigate the role of amino acid (AA) substrates in the hypoglycemia associated with human growth hormone (hGH) deficiency, we measured 12-hour fasting blood glucose and total quantitative AA concentrations in 11 children with hGH deficiency during three study periods: (1) before hGH replacement; (2) after 12 months of hGH treatment; and (3) after discontinuation of hGH for three months. The results were compared to studies in 16 control subjects. Fasting blood glucose concentrations were significantly (P<.05) lower in the hGH-deficient children prior to hGH treatment as compared to the control subjects (67.0 ± 5.3 vs 80.7 ± 5.3 mg/100 ml, X̄ ± SE). Fasting total serum AA concentrations were similar in the patients and in the control subjects; however, after 12 months of hGH replacement, there was a significant (P<.01) elevation of serum AA (2,750 ± 170 vs 2,283 μmoles/liter). Fasting serum concentrations of alanine, glycine, arginine, and tryptophan were also significantly elevated (P<0.1) with hGH treatment, ornithine, tyrosine, lysine, methionine and phenylalanine showed lesser elevations (P<.05), whereas threonine decreased significantly (P<.01). The fasting hypoglycemia seen with isolated hGH deficiency is not an AA substrate-limited disorder. The finding of increased concentrations of AA with hGH replacement suggests increased retention of nitrogen and synthesis of AA or a decreased requirement of AA for gluconeogenesis due to availability of other substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-264
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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