Insulin but not growth hormone stimulates protein anabolism in skin wound and muscle

Xiao Jun Zhang, David L. Chinkes, Steve E. Wolf, Robert R. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We have measured protein kinetics in the scalded skin and normal muscle in anesthetized rabbits. On the 7th day after ear scald, L-[ring- 13C6]phenylalanine was infused as a tracer, and the ear and hindlimb were used as arteriovenous units to reflect skin and muscle protein kinetics. Insulin was infused at 0.6 or 2.3-3.4 mU. kg-1 · min-1 in the low-dose and high-dose insulin groups. In the growth hormone group, recombinant human growth hormone was administered at 2 mg · kg-1 * day-1 after the ear was scalded. The results were compared with a control group in which the ear was scalded but otherwise was not treated. In the control group, net protein loss in the scalded skin and muscle was 23.1 ± 21.4 and 3.9 ± 1.5 μmol. 100 g-1 · h-1, respectively. Insulin infusion at either high or low dose reduced net protein loss to near zero by inhibiting proteolysis. In contrast, growth hormone treatment had no anabolic effect on either tissue. In conclusion, insulin but not growth hormone has an anabolic effect on scalded skin and normal muscle; low-dose insulin is as effective in achieving an anabolic effect on both tissues, with less hypoglycemic response than high- dose insulin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E712-E720
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4 39-4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Arteriovenous balance
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Rabbit
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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