Author(s): Guercio G, Rivarola MA, Chaler E, Maceiras M, Belgorosky A
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Abstract The aim of this study was to analyze the possible implication of changes in the GH/IGF-I axis and in insulin sensitivity for the regulation of adrenal androgen secretion of normal prepubertal and adolescent girls. A total of 61 normal girls were evaluated in prepuberty [Group (Gr)1, n = 33; early (Gr1A, n = 16) and late (Gr1B, n = 17)]; puberty (Gr3, n = 28), early (Gr3A, n = 9) and late (Gr3B, n = 19); and during the transition between prepuberty and puberty (Gr2, n = 26). Insulin sensitivity was estimated by the fasting glucose/insulin ratio (G/I). In Gr1, G/I was significantly higher, and the mean serum IGF-I and serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) were significantly lower than in Gr3 (P < 0.0001). Mean G/I in Gr1A and Gr3A was significantly higher than in Gr1B (P < 0.01) and Gr3B (P < 0.02), respectively, and ratios in Gr1B were also significantly higher than in Gr3A (P < 0.02). However, body mass index (BMI) in Gr1A, Gr1B, and Gr3A was not significantly different, although a significant increment was observed between late prepuberty (Gr1B) and late puberty (Gr3B; P < 0.0001). On the other hand, serum IGF-I levels in Gr1A and Gr3A were significantly lower than those in Gr1B (P < 0.01) and Gr3B (P < 0.02), respectively. The mean serum DHEAS level in Gr1A and Gr3A was significantly lower than in Gr1B (P < 0.01) and Gr3B (P < 0.02), respectively, and the level in Gr1B was also significantly lower than in Gr3A (P < 0.02). Correlation studies within Gr1, Gr2, and Gr3 were also performed. There was a significant positive correlation between serum DHEAS and age and a significant negative correlation between serum DHEAS and G/I in the three groups. However, a significant positive correlation between serum DHEAS and serum IGF-I was only found in Gr1. Furthermore, a significant negative correlation between BMI and the G/I was found in Gr2 and Gr3. Therefore, changes in insulin sensitivity might be involved in adrenal androgen synthesis both in prepuberty and in puberty, as well as during the transition from prepuberty to puberty. Changes in BMI suggest that adiposity might be a mediator of this effect, particularly during late puberty. On the other hand, the GH/IGF axis might be an important metabolic signal involved in the maturational changes of human adrenal androgens during prepuberty, at the time of adrenarche. Indeed, a significant negative correlation between G/I and serum IGF-I was found in Gr1, as well as in Gr2. In conclusion, the findings of this study indicate that the GH/IGF-I axis and insulin resistance might be involved in the mechanism of adrenarche during prepuberty in normal girls. Because these relationships had not been seen in boys, we proposed that prepubertal ovarian estrogens might be responsible for the sex difference. The relationship between insulin resistance and adrenal androgens persists during the transition from prepuberty to puberty, as well as during puberty.
This article was published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research