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  • Author: M Arvigo x
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A Voci, M Arvigo, M Massajoli, S Garrone, C Bottazzi, I Demori and G Gallo

Previously, we have observed that epidermal growth factor (EGF), a potent mitogen for cultured hepatocytes, stimulates the production of IGF-I and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) by cultured hepatocytes from adult rats. This study was undertaken to investigate the possibility that other growth factors of hepatic origin could specifically be involved in the regulation of IGF-I and IGFBP expression. The effects of transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha), through EGF receptors to induce a mitogenic response, and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1), produced by non-parenchymal liver cells and able to inhibit hepatocyte proliferation in vivo and in culture, have been studied in cultured adult rat hepatocytes. Our results demonstrate that TGF-alpha and TGF-beta1 significantly stimulate IGF-I and IGFBP secretion by cultured hepatocytes but no change in the abundance of IGF-I and IGFBP mRNAs was observed with respect to controls. Cycloheximide is able to inhibit both basal and TGF-stimulated release of IGF-I and a similar effect was elicited by octreotide, the somatostatin analog, known to directly affect hepatic IGF-I gene expression. Our findings show the role of the liver in the secretion of IGF-I and IGFBPs, not only under endocrine and nutritional control but also under autocrine and paracrine control.

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AM Barreca, A Voci, PD Lee, M Arvigo, V Ghigliotti, E Fugassa, G Giordano and F Minuto

OBJECTIVE: In normal subjects, the major form of circulating IGF is the GH-dependent 150 kDa complex. The liver appears to be the main source of the three components of the 150 kDa complex and, in particular, hepatocytes synthesize the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) peptide and the acid-labile subunit (ALS), whereas Kupffer and sinusoidal endothelial cells produce IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBG-3). We have studied the effects of the somatostatin analog octreotide, IGF-II des(1-3)IGF-I, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta 1 and tri-iodothyronine (T3) on ALS secretion into the medium conditioned by rat hepatocytes in primary culture. METHODS: The regulation of ALS release was evaluated in the conditioned medium of adult rat hepatocytes exposed to increasing concentrations of test substances or to vehicle alone (control), after gel filtration in basic conditions, by immunoblot using an antiserum generated against the N-terminal 34 amino acids of human ALS. RESULTS: The results demonstrate that: 1) octreotide in vitro produces a dose-dependent inhibition of both basal and GH-stimulated ALS secretion into the hepatocyte conditioned medium; 2) the release of ALS by adult rat hepatocytes is not affected by the presence during the incubation of des(1-3)IGF-I or IGF-II; 3) an inhibitory effect, although only with very high doses, can be observed after treatment with TGF-beta 1; and 4) a small but significant increase of ALS released into the medium can be seen when hepatocytes are treated with T3. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of the effect of substances known to affect the production of IGF peptides, the IGFBPs, or both, on adult rat hepatocytes in primary culture revealed no powerful stimulator, but instead a potent inhibitor of ALS release/synthesis. Our data suggest that the effect of somatostatin on the 150 kDa complex is mediated not only by the reduction in GH concentration, but also by a direct inhibition of ALS release or synthesis.