Semin Liver Dis 2023; 43(01): 024-030
DOI: 10.1055/a-2015-1359
Review Article

Growth Hormone Signaling in Liver Diseases: Therapeutic Potentials and Controversies

Madisyn Oxley
1   Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
Heather Francis
1   Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
2   Department of Research, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
Keisaku Sato
1   Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana
› Author Affiliations
Funding This work was supported by the Indiana University Health – Indiana University School of Medicine Strategic Research Initiative, the Career Scientist Award (IK6BX005226), and the VA Merit award (1I01BX003031) to H.F. from the United States Department of Veteran's Affairs, Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service, and NIH grants AA030107, DK108959, and DK119421 (H.F.). Portions of these studies were supported by resources at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Growth hormone (GH) and downstream insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) signaling mediate growth and metabolism. GH deficiency causes short stature or dwarfism, and excess GH causes acromegaly. Although the association of GH/IGF1 signaling with liver diseases has been suggested previously, current studies are controversial and the functional roles of GH/IGF1 signaling are still undefined. GH supplementation therapy showed promising therapeutic effects in some patients, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, but inhibition of GH signaling may be beneficial for other liver diseases, such as hepatocellular carcinoma. The functional roles of GH/IGF1 signaling and the effects of agonists/antagonists targeting this signaling may differ depending on the liver injury or animal models. This review summarizes current controversial studies of GH/IGF1 signaling in liver diseases and discusses therapeutic potentials of GH therapy.

Publication History

Accepted Manuscript online:
18 January 2023

Article published online:
10 February 2023

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