- We investigated the changes in GH-IGF-I axis in non-obese diabetic (NOD)-mice, a model of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Diabetic female NOD mice and their age- and sex-matched controls were sacrificed at 4, 14, 21 and 30 days (30d DM) after the onset of glycosuria. Serum GH levels increased and serum IGF-I levels decreased in the 30d DM group (182 +/- 32% and 45 +/- 24% of age-matched controls respectively, p < 0.05). Another group (30d DM + I) was given SC insulin, and its serum IGF-I levels remained decreased. Liver GH receptor (GHR) and GH binding protein (GHBP) mRNA levels, as well as liver membrane GH binding assays were deeply decreased in the 30d DM group in comparison to controls. GHR message and binding capacity remained decreased in the 30d DM + I group. Renal GHR mRNA was decreased at 21d DM but not at 14d DM, whereas GHBP mRNA remained unchanged throughout the experiment. In conclusion, increased serum GH levels are documented in NOD diabetic mice, similarly to the changes described in humans. The decrease in GHR levels and decreased serum IGF-I in spite of increased circulating GH suggest a state of GH resistance.