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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2003 Dec;285(6):R1481-9. Epub 2003 Aug 28.

Extracellular signal-regulated kinase and phosphoinositol-3 kinase mediate IGF-1 induced proliferation of fetal sheep cardiomyocytes.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.


Growth of the fetal heart involves cardiomyocyte enlargement, division, and maturation. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is implicated in many aspects of growth and is likely to be important in developmental heart growth. IGF-1 stimulates the IGF-1 receptor (IGF1R) and downstream signaling pathways, including extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and phosphoinositol-3 kinase (PI3K). We hypothesized that IGF-1 stimulates cardiomyocyte proliferation and enlargement through stimulation of the ERK cascade and stimulates cardiomyocyte differentiation through the PI3K cascade. In vivo administration of Long R3 IGF-1 (LR3 IGF-1) did not stimulate cardiomyocyte hypertrophy but led to a decreased percentage of cells that were binucleated in vivo. In culture, LR3 IGF-1 increased myocyte bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) uptake by three- to five-fold. The blockade of either ERK or PI3K signaling (by UO-126 or LY-294002, respectively) completely abolished BrdU uptake stimulated by LR3 IGF-1. LR3 IGF-1 did not increase footprint area, but as expected, phenylephrine stimulated an increase in binucleated cardiomyocyte size. We conclude that 1) IGF-1 through IGF1R stimulates cardiomyocyte division in vivo; hyperplastic growth is the most likely explanation of IGF-1 stimulated heart growth in vivo; 2) IGF-1 through IGF1R does not stimulate binucleation in vitro or in vivo; 3) IGF-1 through IGF1R does not stimulate hypertrophy either in vivo or in vitro; and 4) IGF-1 through IGF1R requires both ERK and PI3K signaling for proliferation of near-term fetal sheep cardiomyocytes in vitro.

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