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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Apr;17(4):615-27.

Plasma insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), IGF-Binding proteins (IGFBPs), acid-labile subunit (ALS) and IGFBP-3 proteolysis in individuals with clinical characteristics of Sotos syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.



Sotos syndrome is an overgrowth syndrome of poorly understood aetiology. We investigated whether this syndrome is related to alterations in plasma insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs), acid-labile subunit (ALS) and serum IGFBP-3 proteolysis.


Based on clinical criteria, 32 patients with clinical characteristics of Sotos syndrome (median age 8.4 years, range 1.8-48.4) were categorised into three groups: typical (n = 10, group 1), dubious (n = 12, group 2) and atypical (n = 10, group 3). Blood samples were obtained from 29 patients.


Plasma IGF-I, IGF-II, E-II (pro-IGF-II and E-domain fragments), IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3, IGFBP-4, IGFBP-6 and ALS were measured by specific radioimmunoassays (RIAs). Except for E-II immunoreactivity, the concentrations were compared with those of age references, and expressed as standard deviation scores (SDS). IGFBP-3 proteolysis was assessed by incubation of serum with [125I]-IGFBP-3, followed by gel electrophoresis and was then compared with that in normal serum and third trimester pregnancy serum.


Patients in group 1 showed significantly reduced plasma levels of IGF-II (median -0.9 SDS; p = 0.01), IGFBP-4 (-0.5 SDS; p = 0.02) and IGFBP-3 (-1.0 SDS; p = 0.01). Mean IGFBP-3 proteolysis was higher than in normal standard serum (61% vs 37%; p < 0.01) but lower than in third trimester pregnancy serum (94%; p < 0.01). Plasma IGF-I showed a tendency towards low values (median -0.9 SDS; p = 0.09), IGFBP-6 and ALS a tendency towards elevated levels (median values +0.8 SDS; p = 0.07 and +2.3 SDS; p = 0.09), and IGFBP-2 was normal. The mean value of E-II immunoreactivity was 8.7 nmol/l, similar to that in pooled normal plasma (8.6 nmol/l). Plasma and serum parameters in groups 2 and 3 were similar to reference values with the exception of plasma IGFBP-3 (in groups 2 and 3 median < or = -1.1 SDS; p < or = 0.02) and ALS (in group 3 median +1.3 SDS; p < 0.01).


Patients with typical Sotos syndrome show low plasma IGF-II, IGFBP-3, IGFBP-4, and increased proteolysis of IGFBP-3 in serum. The extent to which these findings are associated with the pathophysiology of Sotos syndrome remains uncertain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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