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Katharina Binz, Jürgen Zapf and E. Rudolf Froesch

Abstract.

Insulin-deficient, streptozotocin-diabetic rats show severe metabolic disturbances and stop growing. Besides insulin, these animals also lack growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I. We examined whether or not growth parameters correlate with IGF-I serum levels in young rats with streptozotocin-diabetes of different severity. In the diabetic rats, blood glucose varied between 18.4 and 38.6 mmol/1 (healthy controls between 6.1 and 9.3), IGF-I serum levels between 2.6 and 15.6 nmol/1 (controls between 19.6 and 26.5), and serum insulin levels between 0.05 and 0.14 nmol/1 (controls between 0.36 and 0.55). We found a highly significant linear correlation between IGF-I serum levels and the two investigated growth parameters, tibial epiphyseal width and longitudinal tibial bone growth. The finding that these indices of growth are strongly correlated with IGF-I serum levels in young rats with diabetes of different severity, suggests that IGF-I is a major determinant of growth. This is in keeping with our earlier demonstration that exogenously infused IGF-I promotes growth in diabetic rats.

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Ines Zangger, Jürgen Zapf and E. Rudolf Froesch

Abstract. Insulin-like growth factor I and II (IGF I and II) were determined by five different assays in human serum, in the sera of ten mammalian species and in chicken, turtle, and frog serum. Sera of all tested mammals contain two different IGFs corresponding to human immunoreactive IGF I and receptor reactive IGF II. Receptor reactive IGF II of most animal species does not show significant cross-reactivity in the RIA for human IGF II. IGF activity was also detected in sera of non-mammals, such as chicken and turtles, but not in frog serum. The IGF values obtained with the different assay system corresponded rather well: there is a good correlation between the values obtained in the protein binding and the fat cell assay, and between the results of the latter assays and the sum of immunoreactive IGF I and receptor reactive IGF II. The results suggest that those regions in the IGF I and II molecules which are responsible for reactivity with the type I IGF and the insulin receptor have not essentially changed during evolution. Similarly, the C-region, which mainly determines the immunological properties of IGFs, appears to have remained relatively constant in the IGF I, but not in the IGF II molecule.

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Susanne Keller, Christoph Schmid, Jürgen Zapf and E. Rudolf Froesch

Abstract.

IGF-I infused at pharmacological doses in healthy men markedly decreases C-peptide levels, whereas insulin levels remain within the normal range. One possible explanation is decreased insulin removal. As the liver is the major site of insulin degradation, we studied insulin degradation by HepG2 cells in the presence of IGF. We found that IGF-I at a concentration of 130 nmol/l inhibits insulin degradation by HepG2 cells when the initial insulin concentration is 0.34 nmol/l. The effect of IGF-I on insulin degradation is dose-dependent and the rate of insulin degradation is dependent on the insulin concentration. IGF-II is 6 to 10 times more potent than IGF-I in inhibiting 125I-insulin binding to HepG2 cells and in protecting insulin from being degraded. Thus, IGF-I and IGF-II inhibit insulin degradation most likely by competing for binding at insulin binding sites of liver cells.

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J. Eugen Eigenmann, Jan. J. de Bruijne and E. Rudolf Froesch

Abstract. The roles of plasma insulin-like growth factor I (IGF I) and growth hormone (GH) were studied in 7 beagle dogs before and during starvation and during refeeding. IGF I levels significantly decreased from 75.2 ± 5.9 ng/ml at 7 days prior to the start of starvation to 9 ± 1.7 ng/ml at 19 days after the commencement of starvation (mean ± sem; P < 0.0001). During refeeding IGF I significantly rose from 9 ± 1.7 ng/ml to 55.5 ± 7.5 ng/ml within 9 days (mean ± sem; P < 0.002).

During starvation plasma GH levels significantly increased (P < 0.05) and these elevated levels returned to normal during refeeding. The dogs' GH secretory capacity significantly increased during starvation (P = 0.012) and became normal again during refeeding. The following conclusions can be drawn from this study: 1) starvation in the dog leads to a significant and drastic reduction of the circulating levels of IGF I, and 2) starvation in the dog, as in man, leads to increased circulating GH levels and to an increased GH-secretory capacity possibly brought about by a lack of a negative feedback normally exerted by IGF I.

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Hans-Peter Guler, Jürgen Zapf, Christoph Schmid and E. Rudolf Froesch

Abstract.

IGF-I and -II share specific serum carrier proteins which elute on neutral Sephadex G-200 gel permeation chromatography at apparent molecular masses of 50 and 200 kD. The half-lives of free and carrier protein-bound 125I-IGF-I and -II were determined after bolus injections of the tracers into two normal adults. Labelled IGF-I and -II migrated first with the 50-kD and later with the 200-kD complex. In these complexes their apparent half-lives were 20–30 min and 12–15 h, respectively. The apparent half-life of free 125I-IGF-I and -II was 10–12 min. In a second set of experiments, recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I was infused during 6 days in two healthy adults at a dose of 20 μg · kg−1 · h−1 (corresponding to around 30 mg/day). Serum obtained before and during the infusion was subjected to neutral Sephadex G-200 gel permeation chromatography and fractions were pooled according to the apparent molecular masses at which the carrier protein complexes elute. IGF-I and -II in these pools were determined by RIA. Before the IGF-I infusion, 92 and 272 μg/l of IGF-I and -II were found in the 200-kD complex, 45 and 91 μg/l in the 50-kD complex, and 15 and 5 μg/l were present in the free form. Corresponding figures during the IGF-I infusion were 389 and 18 μg/l for the 200-Kd complex, 201 and 54 μg/l for the 50-kD complex, and 80 and < 1 μg/l for free IGF-I and -II. Using the half-lives of the tracer studies and the levels of the different molecular weight forms of IGF in serum, the production rates for IGF-I and -II were calculated to be 10 mg and 13 mg per day.

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Katharina Binz, Christoph Schmid, Roger Bouillon, E Rudolf Froesch, Kay Jürgensen and Ernst B Hunziker

Binz K, Schmid C, Bouillon R, Froesch ER, Jürgensen K, Hunziker EB. Interactions of insulin-like growth factor I with dexamethasone on trabecular bone density and mineral metabolism in rats. Eur J Endocrinol 1994;130:387–93. ISSN 0804–4643

Glucocorticoid treatment causes osteoporosis and growth retardation in humans. Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) stimulates differentiation and replication of cultured osteoblast-like cells and induces longitudinal bone growth in IGF-I-deficient rats. We investigated the influence of subcutaneously infused IGF-I on bone and mineral metabolism of male rats treated with a high dose of dexamethasone. Dexamethasone was added to the drinking water in a concentration of 1 mg/l. After 30 days of dexamethasone treatment, recombinant human IGF-I (300 μg/day) or solvent was infused sc by osmotic minipumps for 21 days while dexamethasone was continued. Age-matched untreated male rats served as healthy controls. Dexamethasone-treated rats lost weight. Their IGF-I levels were decreased to 36% of healthy controls. Infusion of IGF-I resulted in an increase in IGF-I serum levels (582% compared to healthy controls) and allowed some weight gain. Osteocalcin and calcitriol levels were markedly decreased in dexamethasone-treated rats and were not influenced significantly by IGF-I infusion. In contrast, IGF-I treatment restored the free calcitriol concentration (molar ratio of calcitriol to vitamin D-binding protein) towards normal. Furthermore, infusion of IGF-I partially corrected the dexamethasone-induced hyperinsulinemia. Histomorphometric analysis revealed no difference in vertebral trabecular bone density (i.e. growth-independent bone remodeling) between the three groups. In contrast, mean trabecular bone density in tibial metaphyses was increased markedly by dexamethasone, presumably due to osteoclast inhibition. Insulin-like growth factor I infusion did not significantly influence these structural metaphyseal bone parameters. We conclude that IGF I-infusion in male rats treated with high doses of dexamethasone reduces insulin resistance and restores calcitriol production but not osteoblast function or responsiveness to calcitriol.

K Binz, Division de Diabétologie, Hôpital Cantonal Universitaire, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

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Wolfgang Moritz, Marianne Böni-Schnetzler, Wayne Stevens, E Rudolf Froesch and James R Levy

Moritz W, Böni-Schnetzler M, Stevens W, Froesch ER, Levy JR. In-frame exon 2 deletion in insulin receptor RNA in a family with extreme insulin resistance in association with defective insulin binding. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;135:357–63. ISSN 0804–4643

The phenotype and allelic expression of the insulin receptor gene is presented in a family with a patient with type A insulin resistance. Compared to controls, insulin receptor binding in transformed lymphocytes was 100%, 33% and 13% in the father, mother and proband, respectively. Reduced insulin receptor binding co-segregated with altered insulin receptor mRNA expression; the mother and daughter expressed eight insulin receptor mRNA species, including a set of four normal sized and a set of four shorter mRNA transcripts. In the proband the levels of the normal sized mRNA transcripts were suppressed relative to the shorter transcripts. Reverse polymerase chain reaction (PCR) revealed that the shorter transcripts contained an in-frame deletion of exon 2. Sequencing of the entire insulin receptor coding region revealed a paternally inherited A to T substitution in nucleotide 3205, converting isoleucine 996 to phenylalanine. which does not co-segregate with reduced binding. Therefore, we hypothesize that two findings are necessary for the presentation of type A insulin resistance in this patient: an in-frame deletion of the insulin receptor exon 2 that codes for amino acids crucial for insulin binding; and an inhibition of expression of the paternal insulin receptor allele.

Marianne Böni-Schnetzler, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland

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Peter D. Zenobi, Hans-Peter Guler, Jürgen Zapf and E. Rudolf Froesch

Abstract. IGF I was determined by a radioimmunoassay and IGF II by a radioreceptorassay in 20 Göttinger miniature (mini)-pigs and 13 domestic pigs of different weight and age. Immunoreactive IGF I serum levels of mini-pigs were similar to those of domestic pigs in corresponding age-classes (150–250 and 100–270 μg/l, respectively). No differences were detectable between receptor-reactive IGF II serum levels in mini-pigs (150–200 μg/l) and domestic pigs (110–270 μg/l) nor did the biological insulin-like activites (measured in the rat fat cell assay) differ in mini- and domestic pigs (81–100 and 71–98 mU insulin/l, respectively). IGF I and IGF II decreased drastically after hypophysectomy in one of the mini-pigs. Intravenous bolus injections of 30 μg/kg of recombinant human IGF I in 4 mini-pigs caused a similar degree of hypoglycemia (nadir of blood glucose 1.33 ± 0.61 mmol/l) as 0.15 IU insulin/kg, followed by a sharp growth hormone peak. We conclude that the marked difference between mini- and domestic pigs regarding body size is unrelated to serum levels of IGF I and II, a lack of response of tissues to IGF I or a reduced growth hormone secretory capacity in the mini-pig.

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Hans-Peter Guler, Kai-U. Eckardt, Jürgen Zapf, Christian Bauer and E. Rudolf Froesch

Abstract.

Recombinant IGF-I was infused sc at a dose of 20 μg · kg−1 · h−1 to 2 healthy subjects during a total of 79 h. Serum levels of IGF-I rose from 93 and 177 to 502 and 616 μg/l, respectively. Fasting blood glucose remained normal. During the infusion, glomerular filtration rate increased by 31% in subject No. 1 and by 32% in subject No.2. Concomitantly, renal plasma flow increased by 26% and 22%, respectively. Proximal and distal tubular reabsorption of fluid and sodium as determined by lithium clearance was elevated to a similar extent. When determined again one week after the end of the IGF-I infusion, all parameters of renal function had returned to baseline. Sodium excretion, body weight and blood pressure did not change. We conclude that IGF-I infused at pharmacological doses has marked effects on kidney function. Future studies will be necessary to define the clinical potential of recombinant IGF-I in the treatment of diseases characterized by impaired renal perfusion and filtration.

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Christoph Schmid, Irene Schläpfer, Eva Futo, Margaretha Waldvogel, Jürg Schwander, Jürgen Zapf and E Rudolf Froesch

Osteoblast-like cells prepared from neonatal rat calvariae and grown under serum-free conditions produce IGF-1 and IGFBPs. In contrast to growth hormone, T3 and PTH increased both IGF-1 mRNA expression and net IGF-1 release in calvaria cells. In addition, they stimulated net production of IGFBP-3 and of an IGFBP with an apparent molecular weight of 32 kDa which was recognized by an antiserum against rat IGFBP-2. Bone cells expressed remarkably high levels of mRNA for IGFBP-2, the predominant IGFBP in serum of newborn rats. T3 at low physiological concentrations but not growth hormone stimulated IGFBP-2 mRNA expression and IGFBP-2 production in bone cells in vitro. Thus, IGFBPs are differentially regulated by these hormones and may play an autocrine/paracrine regulatory role in bone.