Abstract. Somatomedin levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were determined in patients with acromegaly, pituitary deficiency, prolactinoma, and Cushing's disease by radioimmunoassay (RIA) for insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and for IGF-2 as well as a radioreceptor assay (RRA) with adult human brain plasma membranes and IGF-2 as ligand. The mean value of RIA-IGF-2 (31 ± 1.6 ng/ml) predominated over that of RIA-IGF-1 (5.8 ± 0.3 ng/ml), but 10 times higher levels were found by RRA-IGF-2. Patients with acromegaly were not found to have higher values than those with GH deficiency even after corrections were made for possible leakage across the blood-CSF barrier. No correlations were found between CSF somatomedin levels determined by different techniques and immunoreactive IGF-1 or GH in the peripheral circulation except for a positive correlation between CSF RIA-IGF-2 and serum IGF-1 in patients with acromegaly. These findings suggest that somatomedins in CSF consist primarily of IGF-2-like peptides which are derived from production within the central nervous system or pituitary gland rather than from transport across the blood-CSF barrier.
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