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J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 19;285(47):36361-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.137661. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Thiazolidinediones up-regulate insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor via a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-independent pathway.

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Tulane University Heart & Vascular Institute, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


There is increasing evidence that thiazolidinediones (TZDs), antidiabetic compounds that are synthetic ligands for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), have cardiovascular effects through as yet poorly defined mechanisms. We tested the effect of two TZD class drugs, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, on human aortic smooth muscle cell (SMC) expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R). Both TZDs dose dependently up-regulated IGF-1R protein levels (rosiglitazone, 10 μmol/liter, 67% increase, n = 4, p < 0.01; pioglitazone, 10 μmol/liter, 41% increase, n = 4, p < 0.01) and increased IGF-1R signaling activity (36% increase in Akt phosphorylation). However, the endogenous PPARγ ligand, 15-deoxy-Δ(12,14)-prostaglandin J(2), dose dependently reduced IGF-1R (10 μmol/liter, 80% decrease, n = 4, p < 0.01), and overexpression of PPARγ using an adenovirus likewise reduced IGF-1R (50% decrease versus SMC infected with control adenovirus), suggesting a PPARγ-independent action of TZDs. All three PPARγ ligands (rosiglitazone, pioglitazone, and 15-deoxy-Δ(12,14)-prostaglandin J(2)), however, did not change IGF-1R mRNA levels, indicating that their effects were posttranscriptional. Use of bicistronic constructs revealed that TZD induction of IGF-1R translation occurred via internal ribosomal entry. To examine the potential physiological relevance of TZD up-regulation of IGF-1R, we determined the effect of rosiglitazone on oxidized LDL (oxLDL)-induced apoptosis. 20 μmol/liter of rosiglitazone reduced oxidized LDL-induced apoptosis by 40% and neutralizing antibody to IGF-1R (αIR3) counteracted this rescue, suggesting the rosiglitazone survival effect was, at least in part, mediated by IGF-1R. In conclusion, TZDs markedly up-regulate SMC IGF-1R expression and signaling, likely via a PPARγ-independent mechanism. This novel action of TZDs may play an important role in their cardiovascular effects.

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