Comparison of GH, IGF-I, and testosterone with mRNA of receptors and myostatin in skeletal muscle in older men

Taylor J. Marcell, S. Mitchell Harman, Randall J. Urban, Daniel D. Metz, Buel D. Rodgers, Marc R. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), and testosterone (T) are important mediators of muscle protein synthesis, and thus muscle mass, all of which decline with age. We hypothesized that circulating hormones would be related to the transcriptional levels of their respective receptors and that this expression would be negatively related to expression of the myostatin gene. We therefore determined content of mRNA transcripts (by RT-PCR) for GH receptor (GHR), IGF-I, androgen receptor (AR), and myostatin in skeletal muscle biopsy samples from 27 healthy men <65 yr of age. There were no significant relationships between age, lean body mass, or percent body fat and transcript levels of GHR, IGF-I, AR, or myostatin. Moreover, there were no significant correlations of serum GH, IGF-I, or T with their corresponding target mRNA levels (GHR, intramuscular IGF-I, or AR) in skeletal muscle. However, GHR was negatively correlated (r = -0.60, P = 0.001) with myostatin mRNA levels. The lack of apparent relationships of muscle transcripts with their respective ligands in healthy older adults suggests that age-related deficits in both GH and T may lead to an increase in myostatin expression and a disassociation in autocrine IGF-I effects on muscle protein synthesis, both of which could contribute to age-related sarcopenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1159-E1164
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 44-6
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgens
  • Elderly
  • Gene expression
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • Protein metabolism
  • Reverse transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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