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Metabolism. 1990 Jan;39(1):96-100.

Insulin-like growth factors I and II are present in the skeletal tissues of ten vertebrates.

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Department of Biochemistry, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, CA.


Previous studies have shown that insulin-like growth factor I and insulin-like growth factor II (IGF I and IGF II) constitute an important family of skeletal growth-regulating peptides. We undertook this study to determine if, as in the case of sera in various animals, IGF I and IGF II are conserved in the skeletal tissues of various vertebrates. Skeletal tissues of ten animals representing five of the six vertebrate classes were studied: monkey, dog, sheep, adult mice, neonatal mice, chicken, lizard, frog, trout, and shark. The skeletal tissues were pulverized and demineralized with 10% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (pH 7.0) to extract the soluble matrix proteins. The tissue extracts were concentrated, dialized, and subjected to specific human IGF assays. IGF I and IGF II were measured with a radioimmunoassay and a radioreceptor assay, respectively. We found that 1) there are detectable human IGF I- and II-like substances in all extracts, 2) IGF values obtained in the skeletal extracts were not caused by binding protein artifacts, 3) in general there is more IGF II than IGF I, and 4) the skeletal tissue levels of the IGFs are comparable with their respective serum levels. We conclude that, in the skeletal tissues of vertebrates, the IGFs are conserved and may be important regulators of osteogenesis.

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