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J Cell Physiol. 1996 Sep;168(3):499-509.

Activation of the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor inhibits tumor necrosis factor-induced cell death.

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Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


The effect of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced cell killing was determined for mouse BALB/c3T3 fibroblasts in vitro. Cells maintained in 0.5% fetal bovine serum (FBS) were killed by TNF within 6 h in a concentration-dependent manner, an effect that was prevented by IGF-I. TNF-induced cytotoxicity of 3T3 cells that overexpress the human IGF-I receptor (p6 cells) was prevented by IGF-I alone in the absence of serum. TNF-induced cell death was associated with the morphologic features of apoptosis and the release of low-molecular-weight DNA, both of which were prevented by IGF-I. Neither epidermal growth factor (EGF) nor platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) protected p6 cells from TNF-induced apoptosis. The specific protective action of the IGF-I receptor was demonstrated further by the marked sensitivity to TNF of embryo fibroblasts derived from mice with targeted disruption of the IGF-I receptor (R-cells) but not of fibroblasts derived from wild-type littermates or R-cells transfected with the cDNA for the human IGF-I receptor. Cycloheximide or actinomycin D markedly reduced the protection offered by IGF-I. IGF-I protection of BALB/c3T3 cells persisted for up to 5 days in the presence of PDGF and EGF, whereas IGF-I lost its effectiveness after 2 days in the absence of growth factors. IGF-I did not prevent TNF-induced release of arachidonic acid. The results demonstrate a specific role for the IGF-I receptor in the protection against TNF cytotoxicity. This action of the IGF-I receptor is mediated by protective cytosolic proteins that exhibit a high rate of turnover and whose levels are regulated principally by factors within serum other than IGF-I.

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