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      The Immune-Endocrine Loop during Aging: Role of Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I

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          Why a primary lymphoid organ such as the thymus involutes during aging remains a fundamental question in immunology. Aging is associated with a decrease in plasma growth hormone (somatotropin) and IGF-I, and this somatopause of aging suggests a connection between the neuroendocrine and immune systems. Several investigators have demonstrated that treatment with either growth hormone or IGF-I restores architecture of the involuted thymus gland by reversing the loss of immature cortical thymocytes and preventing the decline in thymulin synthesis that occurs in old or GH-deficient animals and humans. The proliferation, differentiation and functions of other components of the immune system, including T and B cells, macrophages and neutrophils, also demonstrate age-associated decrements that can be restored by IGF-I. Knowledge of the mechanism by which cytokines and hormones influence hematopoietic cells is critical to improving the health of aged individuals. Our laboratory has recently demonstrated that IGF-I prevents apoptosis in promyeloid cells, which subsequently permits these cells to differentiate into neutrophils. We also demonstrated that IL-4 acts much like IGF-I to promote survival of promyeloid cells and to activate the enzyme phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI 3-kinase). However, the receptors for IGF-I and IL-4 are completely different, with the intracellular β chains of the IGF receptor possessing intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity and the α and γc subunit of the heterodimeric IL-4 receptor utilizing the Janus kinase family of nonreceptor protein kinases to tyrosine phosphorylate downstream targets. Both receptors share many of the components of the PI 3-kinase signal transduction pathway, converging at the level of insulin receptor substrate-1 or insulin receptor subtrate-2 (formally known as 4PS, or IL- 4 Phosphorylated Substrate). Our investigations with IGF-I and IL-4 suggest that PI 3-kinase inhibits apoptosis by maintaining high levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. The sharing of common activation molecules, despite vastly different protein structures of their receptors, forms a molecular explanation for the possibility of cross talk between IL-4 and IGF-I in regulating many of the events associated with hematopoietic differentiation, proliferation and survival.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Association of spindle assembly checkpoint component XMAD2 with unattached kinetochores.

          The spindle assembly checkpoint delays anaphase until all chromosomes are attached to a mitotic spindle. The mad (mitotic arrest-deficient) and bub (budding uninhibited by benzimidazole) mutants of budding yeast lack this checkpoint and fail to arrest the cell cycle when microtubules are depolymerized. A frog homolog of MAD2 (XMAD2) was isolated and found to play an essential role in the spindle assembly checkpoint in frog egg extracts. XMAD2 protein associated with unattached kinetochores in prometaphase and in nocodazole-treated cells and disappeared from kinetochores at metaphase in untreated cells, suggesting that XMAD2 plays a role in the activation of the checkpoint by unattached kinetochores. This study furthers understanding of the mechanism of cell cycle checkpoints in metazoa and provides a marker for studying the role of the spindle assembly checkpoint in the genetic instability of tumors.
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            Insulin-like growth factors and their binding proteins: biological actions

             J Jones (1995)
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              Insulin-like growth factor 1 inhibits apoptosis using the phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways.

              The role of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in preventing apoptosis was examined in differentiated PC12 cells. Induction of differentiation was achieved using nerve growth factor, and apoptosis was provoked by serum withdrawal. After 4-6 h of serum deprivation, apoptosis was initiated, concomitant with a 30% decrease in cell number and a 75% decrease in MTT activity. IGF-1 was capable of preventing apoptosis at concentrations as low as 10(-9) M and as early as 4 h. The phosphatidylinositol 3' (PI3')-kinase inhibitors wortmannin (at concentrations of 10(-8) M) and LY294002 (10(-6) M) blocked the effect of IGF-1. The pp70 S6 kinase (pp70S6K) inhibitor rapamycin (10(-8) M) was, however, less effective in blocking IGF-1 action. Moreover, stable transfection of a dominant-negative p85 (subunit of PI3'-kinase) construct in PC12 cells enhanced apoptosis provoked by serum deprivation. Interestingly, in the cells overexpressing the dominant-negative p85 protein, IGF-1 was still capable of inhibiting apoptosis, suggesting the existence of a second pathway involved in the IGF-1 effect. Blocking the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway with the specific mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular-response kinase kinase inhibitor PD098059 (10(-5) M) inhibited the IGF-1 effect. When wortmannin and PD098059 were given together, the effect was synergistic. The results presented here suggest that IGF-1 is capable of preventing apoptosis by activation of multiple signal transduction pathways.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                April 1999
                08 January 1999
                : 6
                : 1-2
                : 56-68
                aLaboratory of Immunophysiology, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill., and bDepartment of Biology, Illinois State University, Normal, Ill., USA; cNeurobiologie Integrative, INRA-INSERM U394, Bordeaux, France
                26365 Neuroimmunomodulation 1999;6:56–68
                © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 1, References: 133, Pages: 13


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