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      Insulin-like growth factor system abnormalities in hepatitis C-associated osteosclerosis. Potential insights into increasing bone mass in adults.

      The Journal of clinical investigation
      Alkaline Phosphatase, blood, Aspartate Aminotransferases, Biological Availability, Cell Division, drug effects, Extracellular Matrix, metabolism, Hepatitis C, complications, Humans, Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I, analysis, Insulin-Like Growth Factor II, Osteoblasts, Osteocalcin, Osteoporosis, therapy, Osteosclerosis, virology, Protein Binding, Recombinant Proteins, Somatomedins

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          Abstract

          Hepatitis C-associated osteosclerosis (HCAO) is a rare disorder characterized by a marked increase in bone mass during adult life. Despite the rarity of HCAO, understanding the mediator(s) of the skeletal disease is of great interest. The IGFs-I and -II have potent anabolic effects on bone, and alterations in the IGFs and/or IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) could be responsible for the increase in bone formation in this disorder. Thus, we assayed sera from seven cases of HCAO for IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF-IIE (an IGF-II precursor), and IGFBPs. The distribution of the serum IGFs and IGFBPs between their ternary ( approximately 150 kD) and binary (approximately 50 kD) complexes was also determined to assess IGF bioavailability. HCAO patients had normal serum levels of IGF-I and -II, but had markedly elevated levels of IGF-IIE. Of the IGFBPs, an increase in IGFBP-2 was unique to these patients and was not found in control hepatitis C or hepatitis B patients. IGF-I and -II in sera from patients with HCAO were carried, as in the case of sera from control subjects, bound to IGFBP-3 in the approximately 150-kD complex, which is retained in the circulation. However, IGF-IIE was predominantly in the approximately 50-kD complex in association with IGFBP-2; this complex can cross the capillary barrier and access target tissues. In vitro, we found that IGF-II enhanced by over threefold IGFBP-2 binding to extracellular matrix produced by human osteoblasts and that in an extracellular matrix-rich environment, the IGF-II/IGFBP-2 complex was as effective as IGF-II alone in stimulating human osteoblast proliferation. Thus, IGFBP-2 may facilitate the targeting of IGFs, and in particular IGF-IIE, to skeletal tissue in HCAO patients, with a subsequent stimulation by IGFs of osteoblast function. Our findings in HCAO suggest a possible means to increase bone mass in patients with osteoporosis.

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