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T Modric, K Rajkumar and LJ Murphy

OBJECTIVE: IGF-I, IGF-I receptor and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) are expressed in thyroid tissue and are associated with the function and growth of the thyroid. This study investigated the in vivo and in vitro effects of increased IGFBP-1 levels on the function and growth of the thyroid gland. DESIGN: Transgenic mice which constitutively overexpress IGFBP-1 were used. These mice have a phenotype consistent with partial inhibition of IGF-I action. METHODS: Thyroid growth, morphology and hormonogenesis were determined in transgenic mice treated with goitrogens, sodium perchlorate and methimazole. In vitro cell proliferation in thyroid follicles was assessed in response to IGF-I and TSH. RESULTS: Thyroid weight was increased in transgenic mice, relative to their body mass, whereas serum tri-iodothyronine (T(3)), thyroxine and T(3)-binding capacity were reduced, compared with wild-type. While an inverse relationship between T(3) and TSH was observed in both groups of goitrogen-treated mice, the slope of the line of best fit was less steep in transgenic mice compared with wild-type mice. Thyroid growth was less marked in transgenic than wild-type mice in response to goitrogens, although TSH levels were higher in goitrogen-treated transgenics. In vitro proliferative response of isolated thyroid follicles to IGF-I, but not to TSH, was reduced in transgenic, compared with wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that, while overexpression of IGFBP-1 attenuates IGF-I action in vitro, it enhances thyroid growth in vivo, presumably as a result of perturbations in thyroid function at multiple levels.

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JV Silha, M Krsek, JV Skrha, P Sucharda, BL Nyomba and LJ Murphy

OBJECTIVE: Adipose tIssue regulates insulin sensitivity via the circulating adipocytokines, leptin, resistin and adiponectin. The objective of this study was to compare the levels of resistin, adiponectin and leptin in lean and obese subjects and determine the relationship between circulating adipocytokines and insulin resistance. METHODS: We examined plasma levels of resistin, adiponectin and leptin in 17 lean subjects with a mean body mass index (BMI) of approximately 23 and 34 non-diabetic obese individuals with a mean BMI approximately 33. Insulin resistance was assessed using the homeostasis model assessment ratio (HOMA-R) formula derived from fasting insulin and glucose levels. RESULTS: Resistin levels were not significantly different between the two groups but were significantly higher in women compared with men, 35.4+/-6.5 (s.e.) vs 15.4+/-2.9 microg/L, P<0.01. Resistin did not correlate with BMI but did significantly correlate with HOMA-R, P<0.01, and this correlation remained significant after adjustment for gender and BMI. Adiponectin levels were significantly lower in obese compared with lean subjects, P<0.005, and higher in women, P<0.001, but showed no significant correlation with HOMA-R. Leptin levels were significantly higher in obese subjects and women and correlated with HOMA-R and resistin. DISCUSSION: In this small group of patients we demonstrated that insulin resistance correlated most strongly with leptin levels. A significant correlation between resistin levels and insulin resistance was also observed. Although a similar trend was apparent for adiponectin, the correlation with insulin resistance did not achieve statistical significance.