Author(s): Frost RA, Lang CH
Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) are potent regulators of muscle mass. Transgenic mice that over-express these proteins exhibit dramatically enlarged skeletal muscles. In contrast, malnutrition, critical illness, sepsis, and aging are all associated with a dramatic reduction in muscle mass and function. The circulating concentration of IGF-I and the expression of IGF-I in skeletal muscle are also reduced during catabolic states. Consequently, GH has been used clinically to increase lean body mass in patients with muscle wasting. Likewise, delivery of IGF-I specifically into muscle has been proposed as a genetic therapy for muscle disorders. A better understanding of the regulation of IGF-I expression in skeletal muscle and muscle cells is therefore of importance. Yet, our knowledge in this area has been limited by a lack of GH responsive muscle cells. In addition the IGF-I gene spans over 90 kb of genomic DNA and it exhibits a very complex regulatory pattern. This review will summarize our knowledge of the control of muscle mass by GH, IGF-I, anabolic steroids, exercise and other growth enhancing hormones. We will also highlight recent advances in the regulation of IGF-I and signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stats) by GH. A special emphasis will be placed on the interaction of IGF-I and proinflammatory cytokines in skeletal muscle and muscle cells.