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J Endocrinol. 2005 Jun;185(3):415-20.

Impaired skeletal growth in mice with haploinsufficiency of IGF-I: genetic evidence that differences in IGF-I expression could contribute to peak bone mineral density differences.

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  • 1Musculoskeletal Diseases Center, JLP Veterans Administration Medical Center, 11201 Benton St, Loma Linda, California 92357, USA. Subburaman.Mohan@med.va.gov


Although it is well established that there is considerable inter-individual variation in the circulating levels of IGF-I in normal, healthy individuals and that a genetic component contributes substantially to this variation, the direct evidence that inter-individual variation in IGF-I contributes to differences in peak bone mineral density (BMD) is lacking. To examine if differences in IGF-I expression could contribute to peak BMD differences, we measured skeletal changes at days 23 (prepubertal), 31 (pubertal) and 56 (postpubertal) in mice with haploinsufficiency of IGF-I (+/-) and corresponding control mice (+/+). Mice (MF1/DBA) heterozygous for the IGF-I knockout allele were bred to generate +/+ and +/- mice (n=18-20 per group). Serum IGF-I was decreased by 23% (P<0.001) in mice with IGF-I haploinsufficiency (+/-) group at day 56 compared with the control (+/+) group. Femoral bone mineral content and BMD, as determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, were reduced by 20% (P<0.001) and 12% respectively in the IGF-I (+/-) group at day 56 compared with the control group. The peripheral quantitative computed tomography measurements at the femoral mid-diaphysis revealed that periosteal circumference (7%, P<0.01) and total volumetric BMD (5%, P<0.05) were decreased significantly in the +/- group compared with the +/+ group. Furthermore, serum IGF-I showed significant positive correlations with both areal BMD (r=0.55) and periosteal circumference (r=0.66) in the pooled data from the +/+ and +/- groups. Our findings that haploinsufficiency of IGF-I caused significant reductions in serum IGF-I level, BMD and bone size, together with the previous findings, are consistent with the notion that genetic variations in IGF-I expression could, in part, contribute to inter-individual differences in peak BMD among a normal population.

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