Changes in growth hormone receptor gene expression during therapy in children with Juvenile Idiopathic arthritis

Elena Bozzola, Sara Pagani, Cristina Meazza, Elisabetta Cortis, Daniela Lisini, Kamilia Laarej, Mauro Bozzola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: High levels of cytokines in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can alter target cell sensitivity to growth hormone (GH) leading to short stature in adulthood. We hypothesized that the down-regulation of GH receptor (GHR) gene expression could be involved in growth failure of children with JIA. Methods: In 18 (12 F and 6 M) prepubertal JIA patients and 13 age- and sex-matched healthy children, we evaluated serum growth-promoting factors and inflammatory indexes. We also measured GHR gene expression, by real-time PCR, in lymphocytes of patients and controls. All parameters were evaluated in patients before and after treatment of JIA. Results: The most interesting (p = 0.007) result was the increase in GHR mRNA expression in all JIA patients. Moreover, we observed a significant (p = 0.0156) decrease in IL-6 levels in JIA patients after 2 years of therapy (19.37 8 41.01) with respect to basal values (90.84 ± 124.71). On the contrary, IGF-I significantly (p = 0.0005) increased to a mean SDS value of 0 (range -1.69 to +1.70 SDS) with respect to values at disease onset (-0.64 SDS). Conclusions: Our pre- liminary data suggest that the restoration of both GHR gene expression and IGF-I secretion correlate with inactive disease in JIA children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Children
  • Gene expression
  • Growth
  • Growth hormone receptor
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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