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Circ Res. 1998 Jul 13;83(1):50-9.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 but not growth hormone augments mammalian myocardial contractility by sensitizing the myofilament to Ca2+ through a wortmannin-sensitive pathway: studies in rat and ferret isolated muscles.

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  • 1Charles A. Dana Research Institute and the Harvard-Thorndike Laboratory Cardiovascular Division, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass, USA.


A growing body of evidence has been accumulated recently suggesting that growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) affect cardiac function, but their mechanism(s) of action is unclear. In the present study, GH and IGF-1 were administered to isolated isovolumic aequorin-loaded rat whole hearts and ferret papillary muscles. Although GH had no effect on the indices of cardiac function, IGF-1 increased isovolumic developed pressure by 24% above baseline. The aequorin transients were abbreviated and demonstrated decreased amplitude. The positive inotropic effects of IGF-1 were not associated with increased intracellular Ca2+ availability to the contractile machinery but to a significant increase of myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity. Accordingly, the Ca2+-force relationship obtained under steady-state conditions in tetanized muscle was shifted significantly to the left (EC50, 0.44+/-0.02 versus 0.52+/-0.03 micromol/L with and without IGF-1 in the perfusate, respectively; P<0.05); maximal Ca2+-activated tetanic pressure was increased significantly by 12% (211+/-3 versus 235+/-2 mm Hg in controls and IGF-1-treated hearts, respectively; P<0.01). The positive inotropic actions of IGF-1 were not associated with changes in either pHi or high-energy phosphate content, as assessed by 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and were blocked by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin. Concomitant administration of IGF binding protein-3 blocked IGF-1-positive inotropic action in ferret papillary muscles. In conclusion, IGF-1 is an endogenous peptide that through a wortmannin-sensitive pathway displays distinct positive inotropic properties by sensitizing the myofilaments to Ca2+ without increasing myocyte [Ca2+]i.

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