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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2001;501:79-85.

Regulation of cell apoptosis by insulin-like growth factor I.

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USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Correct temporal and spatial regulation of apoptosis is critical for normal mammary gland development and lactation. Previous work with a strain of transgenic mice that overexpress des(1-3)hIGF-I during pregnancy and lactation suggested that this growth factor inhibits apoptosis. The hypothesis tested within these studies is that overexpression of des(1-3)hIGF-I within the mammary gland inhibits apoptosis and the expression of apoptosis-associated genes that are known to be activated by the transcription factor AP-1. This inhibition of apoptosis was further posited to predispose the tissue to carcinogenesis. TUNEL analysis of mammary tissue from transgenic mice that overexpress des(1-3)hIGF-I under control of the rat whey acidic protein promoter showed only 25% (P < 0.05) of the number of apoptotic cells found in nontransgenic mice at the same stage of lactation. Northern analysis of RNA from these animals showed a 75% (P = 0.08) reduction in c-Jun mRNA abundance. Histological analysis of mammary tissue from nonlactating multiparous WAP-DES mice ranging in age from 13 to 25 months showed a variety of hyperplastic lesions. These lesions aberrantly expressed the transgene. At 23 months of age 50% of the transgenic mice within this study developed adenocarcinomas. These results support the conclusion that inhibition of apoptosis within the mammary gland by IGF-I involves decreased activity of AP-1 and predisposes the tissue to tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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