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Regul Pept. 1993 Oct 20;48(1-2):9-20.

Characterization of type I IGF receptor and IGF-I mRNA expression in cultured human and bovine glomerular cells.

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Joslin Diabetes Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215.


Glomerular hypertrophy is reported in several endocrine disorders such as acromegaly and diabetes mellitus, where abnormalities of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) have been reported. In the present report, we have cultured bovine and human glomerular endothelial cells, and bovine glomerular epithelial and mesangial cells, and characterized the expression of IGF-I mRNA and its receptor in these cells. High affinity, specific receptors for IGF-I were identified in all three types of cells by radioreceptor assays. Receptor number (Ro) derived by Scatchard analysis revealed an unusually high number of Type I IGF receptors, approx. 1.2 x 10(5) receptors/cell in glomerular endothelial cells. Affinity crosslinking studies and immunoprecipitation with antibodies against the Type I IGF receptor identified the alpha-subunit of the IGF-I receptor as having a molecular mass of 140 kDa. Biologically, IGF-I was more potent than insulin or IGF-II in stimulating DNA synthesis in glomerular endothelial cells. Northern blot analysis showed that glomerular and aortic endothelial cells expressed IGF-1 mRNA of 1.7 kb. In contrast, renal glomeruli showed several IGF-1 mRNAs of 7.5, 1.7 and 1.2 kb. Thus, the demonstration of both a prepondence of Type I IGF receptors coupled with the growth promoting effects of IGF-I in glomerular endothelial and epithelial cells, as well as the local production of IGF-I mRNA suggests that IGF-I serves an important role as an autocrine or paracrine regulator of the growth of renal glomeruli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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