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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Oct;86(10):4741-6.

Decreased expression of IGF-II and its binding protein, IGF-binding protein-2, in genital skin fibroblasts of patients with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome compared with normally virilized males.

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  • 1Pediatric Endocrinology, University Children's Hospital, Hoppe Seyler Strasse 1, D-72076 Tubingen, Germany. martin.elmlinger@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Abstract

The action of androgen by way of the AR is required for the development of male gonads and external genitalia. The interplay between androgens and the somatotropic axis, in particular the IGFs in sexual development, is currently under thorough investigation. The IGF system is thought to mediate the androgen action in androgen-responsive cells. To investigate the interaction of androgens with the IGF system, we compared the expression of IGFs and IGF-binding proteins in cultured genital skin fibroblasts from nine patients with the syndrome of complete androgen insensitivity with that in genital skin fibroblasts from 10 normally virilized males. Mutations in the AR gene and/or abnormalities of the AR protein in the immunoblot were detected in all complete androgen insensitivity genital skin fibroblast strains. They caused a complete failure of DHT binding. RIA and RT-PCR demonstrated that the genital skin fibroblast strains expressed IGF-II, IGF-binding protein-2, and IGF-binding protein-3, but no IGF-I. Most strikingly, complete androgen insensitivity genital skin fibroblast strains produced significantly lower IGF-II (P < 0.001; 42.2 +/- 9.7 vs. 106.9 +/- 11.8 ng/mg protein) and IGF-II mRNA (P < 0.01, by RT-PCR) than control genital skin fibroblast strains. The production of IGF-binding protein-2 was also decreased (P < 0.03) in complete androgen insensitivity genital skin fibroblasts, whereas that of IGF-binding protein-3 did not differ. Furthermore, high levels of IGF-binding protein-5 mRNA were detected in all genital skin fibroblast strains, whereby the 28-kDa band in the ligand blot, probably representing IGF-binding protein-5, was more abundant in complete androgen insensitivity genital skin fibroblasts. Exposure of the genital skin fibroblasts to T (5 x 10(-8) M) had only weak effects on the expression of IGFs and IGF-binding proteins. In conclusion, although the mechanism underlying these differences requires further study, it is conceivable that in addition to the endocrine actions of IGF-I, IGF-II and IGF-binding protein-2, as local growth factors, are involved in the mediation of androgen action and growth of genital tissues.

PMID:
11600534
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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