Short-term growth hormone treatment does not increase muscle protein synthesis in experienced weight lifters

K. E. Yarasheski, J. J. Zachweija, T. J. Angelopoulos, D. M. Bier

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether recombinant human growth hormone (GH) administration enhances muscle protein anabolism in experienced weight lifters. The fractional rate of skeletal muscle protein synthesis and the whole body rate of protein breakdown were determined during a constant intravenous infusion of [13C]leucine in 7 young (23 +/- 2 yr; 86.2 +/- 4.6 kg) healthy experienced male weight lifters before and at the end of 14 days of subcutaneous GH administration (40 microgram.kg-1 x day-1). GH administration increased fasting serum insulin-like growth factor-I (from 224 +/- 20 to 589 +/- 80 ng/ml, P = 0.002) but did not increase the fractional rate of muscle protein synthesis (from 0.034 +/- 0.004 to 0.034 +/- 0.002%/h) or reduce the rate of whole body protein breakdown (from 103 +/- 4 to 108 +/- 5 mumol.kg-1 x h-1). These findings suggest that short-term GH treatment does not increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis or reduce the rate of whole body protein breakdown, metabolic alterations that would promote muscle protein anabolism in experienced weight lifters attempting to further increase muscle mass.