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Basic Clin Androl. 2014 Aug 18;24:12. doi: 10.1186/2051-4190-24-12. eCollection 2014.

The emerging role of insulin-like growth factors in testis development and function.

Author information

1
Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva Medical School, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland ; iGE3, Institute of Genetics and Genomics of Geneva, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

in English, French

The insulin-like family of growth factors (IGFs) - composed of insulin, and insulin-like growth factors I (IGF1) and II (IGF2) - provides essential signals for the control of testis development and function. In the testis, IGFs act in an autocrine-paracrine manner but the extent of their actions has been underestimated due to redundancies at both the ligand and receptor levels, and the perinatal lethality of constitutive knockout mice. This review synthesizes the current understanding of how the IGF system regulates biological processes such as primary sex determination, testis development, spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis, and highlights the questions that remain to be explored.

KEYWORDS:

IGF-I; IGF-II; Insulin; Leydig cells; Sertoli cells; Sex determination; Spermatogenesis; Testis

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