Ravn P, Overgaard K, Spencer EM, Christiansen C. Insulin-like growth factors I and II in healthy women with and without established osteoporosis. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;132:313–9. ISSN 0804–4643
We measured serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I and IGF-II) by radioimmunoassay in 107 healthy women aged 28–78 years and in 116 women with established osteoporosis. The women with established osteoporosis were randomized to a 1-year double-blind, placebo-controlled treatment with continuous estrogen/progestogen, anabolic steroids, salmon calcitonin or placebo and the IGFs were measured every 6 months. Women less than 35 years of age had 29% higher levels of IGF-I (p < 0.001) as compared to women above that age. For women more than 35 years of age, we found no correlation between IGF-I and age (r = 0.02). Correspondingly, we found no significant changes in serum IGF-I in 10 women, who were followed with serial measurements of IGFs every 3 months from 2 years before to 1 year after menopause; IGF-II revealed no correlation with age (r = 0.04). In the group of 116 women with established osteoporosis, IGF-I was 30% lower (p < 0.01) as compared to a group of 19 height-, weight- and age-matched nonfractured women (mean age 64 years). The IGF-II levels were equal in the two groups. Over the 1-year therapeutic intervention period, an increase in IGF-I of 13–15% (p < 0.05) was seen in the nandrolone decanoate-treated group. The same tendency was seen for hormone replacement therapy, although it was not significant. In conclusion, the serum level of IGF-I is high in young women, when peak bone mass is attained, and low in postmenopausal women with established osteoporosis.
Pernille Ravn, Center for Clinical & Basic Research, Ballerup Byvej 222, DK-2750 Ballerup, Denmark