BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2004 Oct 20;5(1):37 [Epub ahead of print] Denko CW, Malemud CJ.
BACKGROUND: Systemic lupus erythematosus is an age- and gender-associated autoimmune disorder. Previous studies suggested that defects in the hypothalamic/pituitary axis contributed to systemic lupus erythematosus disease progression which could involve growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and somatostatin function. This study was designed to compare serum growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and somatostatin levels in female systemic lupus erythematosus patients to a group of normale female controls.
METHODS: Basal serum growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and somatostatin levels were measured by standard radioimmunoassay.
RESULTS: Serum growth hormone failed to correlate with age (adjusted r=3.03) in the entire group of normal subjects (i.e. 20-80 years). In contrast, serum insulin-like growth factor-1 levels were inversely correlated with age (adjusted r=0.092). Of note, serum growth hormone was positively correlated with age (adjusted r=0.269) in the 20-46 year range which overlapped with age range of patients in the systemic lupus erythematosus group. In that regard, serum growth hormone levels were not significantly higher compared to either the entire group of normal subjects or to the normal subjects age-matched to the systemic lupus erythematosus patients. Serum insulin-like growth factor-1 levels were significantly elevated (p less than 0.001) in systemic lupus erythematosus patients, but only when compared to the entire group of normal subjects. Serum somatostatin levels differed from normal subjects only in the older (i.e. greater than 55 yrs)systemic lupus erythematosus patients.
CONCLUSIONS: These results indicated that systemic lupus erythematosus was not characterized by a modulation of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 paracrine axis when serum samples from systemic lupus erythematosus patients were compared to age-matched normal female subjects. These results in systemic lupus erythematosus differ from those reported in other musculoskeletal disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis and hypermobility syndrome where significantly higher serum growth hormone levels were found. Somatostatin levels in elderly systemic lupus erythematosus patients may provide a clinical marker of disease activity in these patients. PMID: 15496230 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]