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      Long-Term Monitoring of Insulin-Like Growth Factor I in Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency: A Critical Appraisal

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          Serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels predominantly reflect the hepatic effect of growth hormone (GH). Compared with serum GH levels, which reflect pulsatile GH secretion, serum IGF-I levels exhibit no major diurnal variation and thus provide a better estimate of integrated GH secretion in an individual patient. Measurement of serum IGF-I levels allows reliable identification of states of GH excess. In contrast, in a large proportion of adults with severe GH deficiency, serum IGF-I levels are within the normal range. Serum IGF-I levels increase markedly in response to GH administration and are often used as a surrogate variable for overall responsiveness to such treatment. Current data, however, suggest a poor relationship between changes in or levels of IGF-I and efficacy variables such as body composition, muscle function and well-being. The use of serum IGF-I as a guide during dose titration in the initial phase of treatment and during long-term monitoring of GH replacement therapy in adults, and its use as a safety marker or predictor of future morbidity and mortality are discussed here.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I and risk of breast cancer.

          Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, a mitogenic and antiapoptotic peptide, can affect the proliferation of breast epithelial cells, and is thought to have a role in breast cancer. We hypothesised that high circulating IGF-I concentrations would be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. We carried out a nested case-control study within the prospective Nurses' Health Study cohort. Plasma concentrations of IGF-I and IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) were measured in blood samples collected in 1989-90. We identified 397 women who had a diagnosis of breast cancer after this date and 620 age-matched controls. IGF-I concentrations were compared by logistic regression with adjustment for other breast-cancer risk factors. There was no association between IGF-I concentrations and breast-cancer risk among the whole study group. In postmenopausal women there was no association between IGF-I concentrations and breast-cancer risk (top vs bottom quintile of IGF-I, relative risk 0.85 [95% CI 0.53-1.39]). The relative risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women by IGF-I concentration (top vs bottom tertile) was 2.33 (1.06-5.16; p for trend 0.08). Among premenopausal women less than 50 years old at the time of blood collection, the relative risk was 4.58 (1.75-12.0; p for trend 0.02). After further adjustment for plasma IGFBP-3 concentrations these relative risks were 2.88 and 7.28, respectively. A positive relation between circulating IGF-I concentration and risk of breast cancer was found among premenopausal but not postmenopausal women. Plasma IGF-I concentrations may be useful in the identification of women at high risk of breast cancer and in the development of risk reduction strategies. Additional larger studies of this association among premenopausal women are needed to provide more precise estimates of effect.
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            Liver-derived insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) is the principal source of IGF-I in blood but is not required for postnatal body growth in mice.

            The body growth of animals is regulated by growth hormone and IGF-I. The classical theory of this regulation is that most IGF-I in the blood originates in the liver and that body growth is controlled by the concentration of IGF-I in the blood. We have abolished IGF-I production in the livers of mice by using the Cre/loxP recombination system. These mice demonstrated complete inactivation of the IGF-I gene in the hepatocytes. Although the liver accounts for less than 5% of body mass, the concentration of IGF-I in the serum was reduced by 75%. This finding confirms that the liver is the principal source of IGF-I in the blood. However, the reduction in serum IGF-I concentration had no discernible effect on postnatal body growth. We conclude that postnatal body growth is preserved despite complete absence of IGF-I production by the hepatocytes.
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              Liver-specific igf-1 gene deletion leads to muscle insulin insensitivity.

               Xun Liu,  J Frystyk,  Yue Wu (2001)
              Insulin and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) mediate a variety of signals involved in mammalian development and metabolism. To study the metabolic consequences of IGF-I deficiency, we used the liver IGF-I-deficient (LID) mouse model. The LID mice show a marked reduction (approximately 75%) in circulating IGF-I and elevated growth hormone (GH) levels. Interestingly, LID mice show a fourfold increase in serum insulin levels (2.2 vs. 0.6 ng/ml in control mice) and abnormal glucose clearance after insulin injection. Fasting blood glucose levels and those after a glucose tolerance test were similar between the LID mice and their control littermates. Thus, the high levels of circulating insulin enable the LID mice to maintain normoglycemia in the presence of apparent insulin insensitivity. Insulin-induced autophosphorylation of the insulin receptor and tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 were absent in muscle, but were normal in liver and white adipose tissue of the LID mice. In contrast, IGF-I-induced autophosphorylation of its cognate receptor and phosphorylation of IRS-1 were normal in muscle of LID mice. Thus, the insulin insensitivity seen in the LID mice is muscle specific. Recombinant human IGF-I treatment of the LID mice caused a reduction in insulin levels and an increase in insulin sensitivity. Treatment of the LID mice with GH-releasing hormone antagonist, which reduces GH levels, also increased insulin sensitivity. These data provide evidence of the role of circulating IGF-I as an important component of overall insulin action in peripheral tissues.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                February 2005
                10 March 2005
                : 62
                : Suppl 1
                : 66-72
                aDepartment of Endocrinology, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; bDepartment of Endocrinology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden
                80761 Horm Res 2004;62(suppl 1):66–72
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 1, References: 44, Pages: 7


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