We investigated the influence of and interactions among pancreatic hormones on the secretion of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF-binding proteins (IG-FBPs) by treating primary hepatocytes from young male Long–Evans rats with insulin or glucagon in combination with rat GH (rGH). The concentration of IGF-I secreted into the medium was estimated by radioimmunoassay after formic acid-acetone cryoextraction, and secreted IGFBPs were analysed by Western ligand blot and immunoblot; accumulation of IGF-I mRNA was analysed by Northern blot. Both insulin (0·1–100 nmol/l) and rGH (0·5, 5 and 50 pmol/l) produced a dose-dependent stimulation of IGF-I secretion over a 24-h incubation period. In contrast, glucagon (0·1–100 nmol/l) inhibited IGF-I production in a dose-related manner. Glucagon (10 nmol/l) also inhibited IGF-I secretion stimulated by rGH (5 pmol/l) and insulin (10 nmol/l). Northern blot analysis of total RNA isolated from rat hepatocytes revealed that rGH (5 pmol/l) elevated IGF-I mRNA levels, glucagon (10 nmol/l) alone had no effect on this parameter, but glucagon significantly reduced IGF-I transcript accumulation in response to rGH. IGFBPs secreted by rat hepatocytes run in two molecular weight ranges on SDS-PAGE: ∼ 25 kDa (IGFBP-4) and ∼29–31 kDa (IGFBP-1 and -2); the predominant hormonally regulated IGFBP was identified as IGFBP-1. Insulin produced a dose-dependent inhibition of production of IGFBP-1, while glucagon was stimulatory; when given together at an equivalent concentration (1 nmol/l), the effects of insulin were dominant to glucagon on IGFBP-1. These observations provide support for significant opposite roles for the pancreatic hormones, insulin and glucagon, in the regulation of liver IGF-I and IGFBP-1 production. As the production of pancreatic hormones is influenced by nutritional status, these polypeptides may mediate the effects of changing nutritional state on the hormonal control of protein anabolism and glucose homeostasis by directly influencing the circulating level of liver-derived IGF-I and its binding proteins.
Journal of Endocrinology (1994) 142, 299–310