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Mette Faurholdt Gude, Rikke Hjortebjerg, Claus Oxvig, Anne Anker Thyø, Nils Erik Magnusson, Mette Bjerre, Steen Bønløkke Pedersen and Jan Frystyk

Objective

Adipose tissue secretes pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), which may increase local IGF action through cleavage of IGF-binding protein-4 (IGFBP-4). We tested whether this mechanism was operational in human visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (i.e. VAT and SAT).

Design

Explants of VAT and SAT from 26 obese subjects (hereof 17 women, BMI 39.5 (37.2; 42.8) kg/m2 (median (25%; 75% confidence interval) and SAT from eight lean, age-matched women (BMI 23.6 (22.4; 24.9) kg/m2) were incubated with or without GH (100 µg/L) and the media were harvested.

Methods

Media were assessed for concentrations of PAPP-A, intact and PAPP-A-cleaved IGFBP-4, IGF-I and IGF-II, and IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) activation by bioassay.

Results

In obese subjects, VAT media contained higher concentrations than SAT of PAPP-A (4.4-fold) and both PAPP-A-generated IGFBP-4 fragments (C-terminal: 3.3-fold, N-terminal: 1.5-fold) (all P < 0.0005). Intact IGFBP-4 levels were similar in SAT and VAT. VAT media contained elevated IGF-II (1.4-fold; P < 0.005), but similar IGF-I concentrations compared with SAT. Still, VAT media contained a 1.8-fold increased ability to stimulate the IGF-IR (P < 0.005). IGF-I protein concentration and IGF-IR activation increased more in VAT media than SAT media following GH stimulation (both P < 0.05). At baseline, SAT media protein levels from lean and obese women were similar, with the exception of PAPP-A being 1.8-fold elevated in VAT media (P < 0.05). GH induced a similar increase in IGF-I media levels in SAT from obese and lean women.

Conclusion

Human adipose tissue cultures secrete enzymatically active PAPP-A, IGFBP-4 and IGF-II in a depot-specific manner, suggesting differential regulation of IGF activity. Further, IGF-II appears to be more prominent than IGF-I. Finally, VAT appears more GH responsive than SAT.

Free access

Rikke Hjortebjerg, Esben Laugesen, Pernille Høyem, Claus Oxvig, Brian Stausbøl-Grøn, Søren T Knudsen, Won Y Kim, Per L Poulsen, Troels K Hansen, Mette Bjerre and Jan Frystyk

Objective

Perturbations in the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system may contribute to the accelerated cardiovascular disease (CVD) that occurs in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, it remains unknown whether the IGF system is also involved in the development of early, subclinical CVD. We characterised the IGF system in T2D patients and matched controls and examined the associations with markers of subclinical target organ damage.

Methods

The study included 99 patients with recently diagnosed T2D and 99 age- and sex-matched controls. IGF-1 and IGFBP-1 to -4 were measured by immunoassays, as were pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and the PAPP-A-generated N-terminal (NT) and C-terminal (CT) IGFBP-4 fragments, which are novel CVD risk markers. Arterial stiffness was evaluated by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) and carotid artery remodelling were determined by MRI.

Results

After multivariate adjustments, patients with T2D had lower concentrations of IGFBP-2, IGFBP-4, NT- and CT-IGFBP-4, when compared with controls. IGFBP-2 was inversely correlated to PWV in all subjects in multivariate analysis (P < 0.05), and IGFBP-3 was inversely associated with severity of WMLs (P < 0.05). The NT-IGFBP-4 fragment was associated with the degree of carotid artery remodelling among all subjects (regression coefficient (95% CI): 2.95 (0.70, 5.16), P = 0.011). Levels of NT- and CT-IGFBP-4 were reduced in T2D patients receiving metformin compared to those in controls and patients not receiving metformin.

Conclusions

Even in recently diagnosed and well-controlled T2D patients, IGF protein levels are altered and associated with CVD risk factors.

Restricted access

Masanobu Fujimoto, Jane C Khoury, Philip R Khoury, Bhanu Kalra, Ajay Kumar, Patrick Sluss, Claus Oxvig, Vivian Hwa and Andrew Dauber

Objective

Pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A2 (PAPP-A2) is a metalloproteinase that cleaves IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-5. Human mutations in PAPPA2 result in short stature with a low percentage of free IGF-I. Little is known about PAPP-A2 levels and the regulation of free IGF-I throughout childhood. We examined PAPP-A2 and intact IGFBP-3 levels in childhood and explored associations between PAPP-A2, free and total IGF-I, and total and intact IGFBP-3 and their relationship to the percentage of free to total IGF-I and anthropometric factors.

Design

Cross-sectional study at a single center.

Methods

PAPP-A2, free IGF-I, and intact IGFBP-3 levels were measured in childhood (3–18 years old) and an evaluation of the relationship between these proteins and anthropometric factors.

Results

In 838 children, PAPP-A2 consistently decreased throughout childhood. In contrast, free IGF-I increased. A pubertal peak in free IGF-I was present in females but was less evident in males. Intact and total IGFBP-3 increased throughout childhood; however, intact IGFBP-3 had a more marked rise than total IGFBP-3. Percent free IGF-I decreased with no distinct pubertal peak. PAPP-A2 levels positively correlated with the percent free IGF-I (Male, Female; r = 0.18, 0.38; P < 0.001) and negatively with intact IGFBP-3 (Male, Female; r = −0.58, −0.65; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions

This is the first study to describe serum PAPP-A2 and intact IGFBP-3 in children between 3 and 18 years of age. Our correlative findings suggest that PAPP-A2 is an important regulator of the percent free IGF-I which can be a marker of perturbations in the GH/IGF-I axis.