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Concept: Insulin-like growth factor


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), the most abundant growth factor in the bone matrix, maintains bone mass in adulthood. We now report that IGF-1 released from the bone matrix during bone remodeling stimulates osteoblastic differentiation of recruited mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) by activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), thus maintaining proper bone microarchitecture and mass. Mice with knockout of the IGF-1 receptor (Igf1r) in their pre-osteoblastic cells showed lower bone mass and mineral deposition rates than wild-type mice. Further, MSCs from Igf1rflox/flox mice with Igf1r deleted by a Cre adenovirus in vitro, although recruited to the bone surface after implantation, were unable to differentiate into osteoblasts. We also found that the concentrations of IGF-1 in the bone matrix and marrow of aged rats were lower than in those of young rats and directly correlated with the age-related decrease in bone mass. Likewise, in age-related osteoporosis in humans, we found that bone marrow IGF-1 concentrations were 40% lower in individuals with osteoporosis than in individuals without osteoporosis. Notably, injection of IGF-1 plus IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP3), but not injection of IGF-1 alone, increased the concentration of IGF-1 in the bone matrix and stimulated new bone formation in aged rats. Together, these results provide mechanistic insight into how IGF-1 maintains adult bone mass, while also providing a further rationale for its therapeutic targeting to treat age-related osteoporosis.

Concepts: Bone, Stem cell, Mesenchymal stem cell, Bone marrow, Skeletal system, Cellular differentiation, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Insulin-like growth factor


Measurement of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) has utility for the diagnosis and management of growth disorders, but inter-assay comparison of results has been complicated by a multitude of reference standards, antibodies, detection methods, and pre-analytical preparation strategies. We developed a quantitative LC-MS method for intact IGF-I, which has advantages in throughput and complexity when compared to mass spectrometric approaches that rely on stable isotope dilution analysis of tryptic peptides. Since the method makes use of full-scan data, the assay was easily extended to provide quantitative measurement of IGF-II using the same assay protocol. The validated LC-MS assay for IGF-I and IGF-II provides accurate results across the pediatric and adult reference range and is suitable for clinical use.

Concepts: Immune system, Mass spectrometry, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Growth hormone, Growth factors, Insulin-like growth factor, Peptide hormones, IGFBP3


Growth regulation in adult Atlantic salmon (1.6 kg) was investigated during 45 days in seawater at 13, 15, 17, and 19 °C. We focused on feed intake, nutrient uptake, nutrient utilization, and endocrine regulation through growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factors (IGF), and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP). During prolonged thermal exposure, salmon reduced feed intake and growth. Feed utilization was reduced at 19 °C after 45 days compared with fish at lower temperatures, and body lipid storage was depleted with increasing water temperature. Although plasma IGF-1 concentrations did not change, 32-Da and 43-kDa IGFBP increased in fish reared at ≤17 °C, and dropped in fish reared at 19 °C. Muscle igf1 mRNA levels were reduced at 15 and 45 days in fish reared at 15, 17, and 19 °C. Muscle igf2 mRNA levels did not change after 15 days in response to increasing temperature, but were reduced after 45 days. Although liver igf2 mRNA levels were reduced with increasing temperatures after 15 and 45 days, temperature had no effect on igf1 mRNA levels. The liver igfbp2b mRNA level, which corresponds to circulating 43-kDa IGFBP, exhibited similar responses after 45 days. IGFBP of 23 kDa was only detected in plasma in fish reared at 17 °C, and up-regulation of the corresponding igfbp1b gene indicated a time-dependent catabolic response, which was not observed in fish reared at 19 °C. However, higher muscle ghr mRNA levels were detected in fish at 17 and 19 °C than in fish at lower temperatures, indicating lipolytic regulation in muscle. These results show that the reduction of muscle growth in large salmon is mediated by decreased igf1 and igf2 mRNA levels in addition to GH-associated lipolytic action to cope with prolonged thermal exposure. Accordingly, 13 °C appears to be a more optimal temperature for the growth of adult Atlantic salmon at sea.

Concepts: Liver, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Growth hormone, Ocean, Insulin-like growth factor, Atlantic salmon, Anabolism, IGFBP3


The IGF system plays important roles in growth. Nevertheless, few data have been reported so far on the expression of IGF system members and their relationship with growth in domestic animals, especially pigs. In this study, hepatic transcript level of IGF1, IGF2, IGF binding protein 2 (IGFBP2), IGFBP3 and IGF 1 receptor (IGF1R), plasma protein level of IGF1 and IGFBP3, and eight growth or carcass traits, including chest circumference, body length, body height (BH), body weight, carcass weight, loin muscle area (LMA), back fat thickness and average daily gain, were measured in fast-growing Landrace and slow-growing Lantang pigs at the age of 1, 27, 90, 150 and 180 days. The results showed that liver mRNA level of IGF1, IGF2 and IGF1R, and blood protein level of IGF1 have a similar developmental profile in both Landrace and Lantang pigs. Their levels were higher at the early age than that at other older ages. Hepatic transcript abundances of the two growth inhibitors, IGFBP2 and IGFBP3, were mostly higher in Lantang pigs than that in Landrace pigs, at 5 examined postnatal stages. The IGF system members' liver mRNA level and/or serum protein level have significant correlation with each other in different age of Landrace or Lantang pigs. Hepatic mRNA level or serum protein level of IGF system members also has significant correlation with investigated traits, especially with BH and LMA, in different age of Lantang or Landrace pigs. Our results revealed the change profiles of porcine IGF system members' liver transcript level and plasma protein level between different pig breeds and different postnatal developmental ages. Moreover, the correlation analysis results suggest that the IGF system members act coordinately to regulate the growth performance and carcass composition in pigs. The information obtained from the present study is important for elucidation of the regulatory mechanism of IGF system underlying growth, and for genetic improvement in pigs.

Concepts: Protein, Genetics, Transcription, Liver, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Insulin-like growth factor, IGFBP3, Serum protein electrophoresis


HT042, a new herbal prescription consisting of Astragalus membranaceus, Phlomis umbrosa and Eleutherococcus senticosus, is used in traditional Korean medicine to stimulate growth in children. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of HT042 on skeletal growth, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels, and oestrogenic activity in female rats. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into control, recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH; 20 µg/kg/day), and HT042 (100 mg/kg/day) groups and treated for 3 weeks. Axial skeletal growth, femur length, and growth plate length were measured every 3 weeks. The serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels were analysed. Moreover, the oestrogenic activity of the herbal extracts in the immature and ovariectomized rats was tested. The nose-anus, nose-tail, femur and growth-plate lengths were increased significantly in the HT042 group. Both IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were highly expressed in the hypertrophic zone of the growth plate. The serum IGF-1 levels were increased. Moreover, HT042 had no uterotrophic effects in the rats. Consequently, HT042 promoted longitudinal bone growth by stimulating cell proliferation in the epiphyseal plate and inducing the expression of IGF-1 without an oestrogenic response. HT042 may be helpful in stimulating growth in children with short stature. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Immune system, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Growth hormone, Growth factors, Endochondral ossification, Insulin-like growth factor, Idiopathic short stature, Long bone


OBJECTIVE: Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) levels, their binding proteins (IGFBPs), and high-dose statin therapy, have all been linked to the development of diabetes. We aimed to identify whether atorvastatin caused dose-related changes in IGF proteins. DESIGN AND METHODS: We measured IGF1, IGF2, IGFBP1 and IGFBP3 concentrations at baseline, 6 months and 12 months in PANDA trial participants with type 2 diabetes randomised to 10mg (n=59) vs 80mg (n=60) of atorvastatin (N=119; mean (SD): age 64(10) years; 83% male; HbA1c 61(10) mmol/mol; blood pressure 131/73 mmHg. RESULTS: Atorvastatin was associated with overall reductions in circulating IGF1, IGF2 and IGFBP3 concentrations. The adjusted mean (95% CI) between-group differences that indicate dose-related changes in IGF proteins were not significant for: IGF1: -3 (-21 to 14) ng/ml; IGF2: -23 (-65 to 18) ng/ml; and IGFBP3: -0.34 (-0.71 to 0.03) µg/ml; negative values indicating numerically greater lowering with high-dose). The IGFBP1 concentration did not change overall with atorvastatin therapy overall but the adjusted mean (95% CI) between-group difference indicating a dose-related change in log IGFBP1 was highly significant -0.41 (-0.69 to 0-0.13, p=0.004). CONCLUSION: IGF1, IGF2 and IGFBP3 concentrations all decreased following atorvastatin therapy. A differential effect of low vs high dose atorvastatin on IGFBP1 concentrations was observed with likely implications for IGF bioavailability. The dose-related differential impact of atorvastatin treatment on concentration of IGF proteins merits investigation as a mechanism to explain the worsening of glucose tolerance with statin therapy.

Concepts: Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, Glucose, Statin, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Growth factors, Insulin-like growth factor, IGFBP3


Objectives. The aim of this study was to determine the normal values of serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in Turkish children and adults (1-79 years). Material and methods. The study included 571 healthy children and 625 healthy adults from the West Black Sea region of Turkey. Serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations were determined using a chemiluminescent immunometric assay on an Immulite 1000 analyzer. Results. IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels tended to be higher in girls compared to boys among the children. The differences were statistically significant in puberty from age 12-14 years for IGF-1 and prepubertally from age 9-10 years for IGFBP-3. Peaks of serum IGF-1 levels were observed 2 years earlier in girls (14 years) than boys (16 years). The general pattern of IGFBP-3 was similar to IGF-1 during puberty. In adults, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels decreased by age. There was no significant difference in IGF-1 and IGFBP3 values between men and women in any age group. Conclusions. This study established age- and sex-specific reference values for serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in healthy Turkish children and adults.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Difference, Growth factors, Turkey, Insulin-like growth factor, IGFBP3, Black Sea


Acromegaly is a rare disease characterized by hypersecretion of growth hormone (GH), typically from a benign pituitary somatotroph adenoma, that leads to subsequent hypersecretion of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Patients with acromegaly have an increased risk of mortality and progressive worsening of comorbidities. Surgery, medical therapy, and radiotherapy are treatment approaches currently available for patients with acromegaly, with overall therapeutic goals of lowering GH levels and achieving normal levels of IGF-1, reducing tumor size, improving comorbidities, and minimizing mortality risk. The objective is to discuss that, although surgery can lead to biochemical remission in some patients with acromegaly, many patients will continue to have uncontrolled disease and require additional treatment.

Concepts: Immune system, Medicine, Cure, Therapy, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Growth hormone, Insulin-like growth factor, Endocrine gland


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) have been shown to influence the development of form-deprivation myopia. However, genetic association between these two genes and high myopia remains inconsistent in different studies. This study was conducted to investigate the association between IGF1and IGF1R and high myopia in a Han Chinese population.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Gene expression, Biology, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Han Chinese, People's Republic of China, Insulin-like growth factor


The fatal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by the loss of somatic motor neurons leading to muscle wasting and paralysis. However, motor neurons in the oculomotor nucleus, controlling eye movement, are for unknown reasons spared. We found that insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) was maintained in oculomotor neurons in ALS and thus could play a role in oculomotor resistance in this disease. We also showed that IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), which mediates survival pathways upon IGF binding, was highly expressed in oculomotor neurons and on extraocular muscle endplate. The addition of IGF-2 induced Akt phosphorylation, glycogen synthase kinase-3β phosphorylation and β-catenin levels while protecting ALS patient motor neurons. IGF-2 also rescued motor neurons derived from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients from degeneration. Finally, AAV9::IGF-2 delivery to muscles of SOD1(G93A) ALS mice extended life-span by 10%, while preserving motor neurons and inducing motor axon regeneration. Thus, our studies demonstrate that oculomotor-specific expression can be utilized to identify candidates that protect vulnerable motor neurons from degeneration.

Concepts: Nervous system, Spinal cord, Muscle, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Muscle atrophy, Atrophy, Insulin-like growth factor