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Int J Dev Neurosci. 2010 Feb;28(1):91-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2009.09.002. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

Changes in the expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 variants in the postnatal brain development and in neonatal hypoxia-ischaemia.

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Molecular Biology Unit, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.


Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a multifunctional peptide of which numerous isoforms exist. The predominant form, IGF-1Ea is involved in physiological processes while IGF-1Ec (mechano-growth factor, MGF) is expressed in response to a different set of stimuli. We have identified specific changes in the expression patterns of these IGF-1 variants in brain development in normal rats and following neonatal hypoxia-ischaemia (HI). Both IGF-1Ea and IGF-1Ec are expressed during normal postnatal brain development, albeit with highly specific temporal distributions. In contrast, HI produced increased and prolonged expression of the IGF-1Ec isoform only. Importantly, hypoxia alone stimulated the expression of IGF-1Ec as well. Thus, IGF-1Ec may play a role in HI pathology. Neonatal hypoxia-ischaemia occurs in approximately 1:4000-1:10,000 newborns and causes neurological deficits in approximately 75% of those affected. Unfortunately, no specific treatment is available. IGF-1 is known to have neuroprotective activity and its IGF-1Ec variant appears to be an endogenous protective factor in hypoxia-ischaemia. Therefore, IGF-1Ec could potentially be developed into a therapeutic modality for the attenuation or prevention of neuronal damage in this and related disorders.

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