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Regen Med Res. 2013 Oct 1;1(1):3. doi: 10.1186/2050-490X-1-3. eCollection 2013 Dec.

Insulin-like growth factor 1 myocardial expression decreases in chronic alcohol consumption.

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Alcohol Research Unit. Hospital Clínic. Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS). Department of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.



Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (CMP) is one of the major complications of chronic excessive alcohol consumption. The pathogenic mechanisms implicated are diverse, inducing functional and structural changes in the myocardium. Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) plays an important role in modulating the cell cycle, and helps the differentiation and proliferation of cardiac tissue inhibiting apoptosis. Experimental studies have suggested the role of IGF-1 in alcohol-induced cardiac damage. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of chronic alcohol consumption on IGF-1 myocardial expression and to compare this expression in cases of hypertension and other cardiac diseases.


We studied heart samples from human organ donors: 10 healthy donors, 16 with hypertension, 23 with chronic alcohol consumption and 7 with other causes of cardiac disease. IGF-1 myocardial expression was evaluated with a specific immunohistochemistry assay using a semi-quantitative method.


A significant decrease in IGF-1 myocardial expression was observed comparing all the cases included with control donors. This decrease in IGF-1 myocardial expression was significantly lower in the group of donors with chronic alcohol consumption compared to controls. On group evaluation according to the presence of CMP, donors with chronic alcohol consumption without CMP presented significantly lower IGF-1 expression than controls, whereas donors with chronic alcohol consumption with CMP showed a downward trend without achieving significance.


Chronic alcohol consumption significantly reduces IGF-1 myocardial expression. This decrease induced by alcohol is partially compensated in the presence of structural myocardial damage.


Alcohol; IGF-1; Myocardium

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