Changes in non 22-kilodalton (kDa) isoforms of growth hormone (GH) after administration of 22-kDa recombinant human GH in trained adult males

J. D. Wallace, R. C. Cuneo, M. Bidlingmaier, P. A. Lundberg, L. Carlsson, C. L. Boguszewski, J. Hay, Massoud Boroujerdi, A. Cittadini, R. Dall, T. Rosen, C. J. Strasburger

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    GH is being used by elite athletes to enhance sporting performance. To examine the hypothesis that exogenous 22-kDa recombinant human GH (rhGH) administration could be detected through suppression of non-22-kDa isoforms of GH, we studied seventeen aerobically trained males (age, 26.9 +/- 1.5 yr) randomized to rhGH or placebo treatment (0.15 IU/kg/day for 1 week). Subjects were studied at rest and in response to exercise (cycle-ergometry at 65% of maximal work capacity for 20 min). Serum was assayed for total GH (Pharmacia IRMA and pituitary GH), 22-kDa GH (2 different 2-site monoclonal immunoassays), non-22-kDa GH (22-kDa GH-exclusion assay), 20-kDa GH, and immunofunctional GH. In the study, 3 h after the last dose of rhGH, total and 22-kDa GH concentrations were elevated, reflecting exogenous 22-kDa GH. Non-22-kDa and 20-kDa GH levels were suppressed. Regression of non-22-kDa or 20-kDa GH against total or 22-kDa GH produced clear separation of treatment groups. In identical exercise studies repeated between 24 and 96 h after cessation of treatment, the magnitude of the responses of all GH isoforms was suppressed (P < 0.01), but the relative proportions were similar to those before treatment. We conclude: 1) supraphysiological doses of rhGH in trained adult males suppressed exercise-stimulated endogenous circulating isoforms of GH for up to 4 days; 2) the dearest separation of treatment groups required the simultaneous presence of high exogenous 22-kDa GH and suppressed 20-kDa or non-22-kDa GH concentrations; and 3) these methods may prove useful in detecting rhGH abuse in athletes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1731-1737
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • FACTOR-I
    • ASSAY
    • AXIS
    • HGH


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