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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Feb;88(2):900-7.

Rapid insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-independent effects of IGF binding protein-3 on endothelial cell survival.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Mattel Children's Hospital, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1752, USA.


Angiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial-derived growth factor (VEGF) and IGF-I, play pivotal roles in endothelial proliferation and migration. IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) is emerging as a key regulator of cell growth and apoptosis, both as an IGF antagonist and as an independent molecule. We investigated the role of IGFBP-3 in VEGFmediated survival of human macrovascular umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Specific commercial ELISAs quantified cell proliferation and apoptosis, and Akt phosphorylation was assessed by immunoblots and confocal microscopy. IGF-I and VEGF significantly stimulated HUVEC proliferation and survival. Addition of IGFBP-3 reversed both IGF- and VEGF-induced proliferation and prevented the survival induced by these factors. The antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of exogenous IGFBP-3 upon VEGF-induced HUVEC survival were not inhibited by blockade of the type 1 IGF receptor with alpha IR-3 immunoglobulin, which fully prevented IGF actions. An IGFBP-3 mutant, which binds IGFs normally but has a substituted mid-region domain, lost the ability to inhibit VEGF actions. VEGF-induced phosphorylation of Akt, as evident by both specific immunoblots and confocal microscopy, was significantly and rapidly reduced in the presence of IGFBP-3, as well as wortmannin.

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