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FASEB J. 2009 Mar;23(3):709-19. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-118976. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

Serum complexes of insulin-like growth factor-1 modulate skeletal integrity and carbohydrate metabolism.

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  • 1Endocrinology/Diabetes and Bone Disease, The Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L Levy Place, Box 1055, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.


Serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF) -1 is secreted mainly by the liver and circulates bound to IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs), either as binary complexes or ternary complexes with IGFBP-3 or IGFBP-5 and an acid-labile subunit (ALS). The purpose of this study was to genetically dissect the role of IGF-1 circulatory complexes in somatic growth, skeletal integrity, and metabolism. Phenotypic comparisons of controls and four mouse lines with genetic IGF-1 deficits-liver-specific IGF-1 deficiency (LID), ALS knockout (ALSKO), IGFBP-3 (BP3) knockout, and a triply deficient LID/ALSKO/BP3 line-produced several novel findings. 1) All deficient strains had decreased serum IGF-1 levels, but this neither predicted growth potential or skeletal integrity nor defined growth hormone secretion or metabolic abnormalities. 2) IGF-1 deficiency affected development of both cortical and trabecular bone differently, effects apparently dependent on the presence of different circulating IGF-1 complexes. 3) IGFBP-3 deficiency resulted in increased linear growth. In summary, each IGF-1 complex constituent appears to play a distinct role in determining skeletal phenotype, with different effects on cortical and trabecular bone compartments.

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