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B. Houston and C. Goddard

ABSTRACT

Different forms of GH present in freshly prepared homogenates of chicken pituitary were analysed by high-performance gel permeation chromatography and by immunoblotting following sodium dodecylsulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and isoelectric focussing. Chicken GH was found to occur mainly in a monomeric form with a relative molecular mass of 23 500 together with small amounts of interchain disulphide-linked oligomers. No evidence was obtained for proteolytically modified forms of GH nor for a form analogous to the 20K variant of human GH. Isoelectric focussing resolved ten distinct charge variants of chicken GH with isoelectric points between 8·45 and 6·0. The predominant charge variant (pI = 7·85) was present in pituitaries of birds of both sexes at all ages examined (3–114 days) whereas the more acidic forms were not apparent until after day 13. These findings indicate that the chicken pituitary contains different forms of GH, some of which may be developmentally regulated.

J. Endocr. (1988) 116, 35–41

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S. C. Butterwith and C. Goddard

ABSTRACT

Adipose tissue growth can occur by both hypertrophy and hyperplasia. The capacity for adipocyte hyperplasia in vivo resides in a population of fibroblast-like adipocyte precursor cells but the regulation of the proliferation of these cells by growth factors has not been well characterized. This study was designed to determine the effects of the insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) added alone or together on the proliferation of primary adipocyte precursor cells in vitro. Adipocyte precursor cell proliferation measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA was stimulated by all of these growth factors and was particularly marked with PDGF. IGF-I or IGF-II added together with TGF-β1 produced a greater than additive response and the effect of PDGF was synergistic with that of IGF-I at certain concentrations.

Stimulation of proliferation of some cell types by TGF-β has been linked to the secondary production of PDGF but the evidence we have suggests that this is unlikely in chicken adipocyte precursors. DNA synthesis in response to TGF-β1 required only a short exposure to the peptide, and conditioned medium from chicken adipocyte precursor cells previously exposed to TGF-β had no effect on DNA synthesis when added to fresh batches of cells. Addition of TGF-β1 together with PDGF produced a synergistic effect whereas an additive effect would be expected if PDGF mediated the effect of TGF-β1.

IGF-I mRNA is expressed in the Ob 1771 preadipocyte cell line during differentiation, in stromalvascular cells from adipose tissue, and TGF-β mRNA is expressed in both proliferating and differentiating 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. Together with the data presented here, this would indicate that these peptides have a role in adipocyte development by an autocrine or paracrine mechanism although the source of PDGF in vivo is at present unknown.

Journal of Endocrinology (1991) 131, 203–209

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M. J. Duclos and C. Goddard

ABSTRACT

Two distinct receptors for the insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II) have been identified in mammalian tissues, but so far only a receptor structurally related to the type I receptor has been identified in chicken embryonic tissues. This study was designed to characterize binding sites for IGF peptides in chicken liver microsomal membranes prepared from hatch to 10 weeks of age which is the period of most rapid growth.

Binding of both human (h) IGF-I and hIGF-II was displaceable by either peptide and exhibited similar pH, time and temperature dependency. Human IGF-II was more potent than hIGF-I in competing for the binding of the iodinated ligands with half-maximum effective concentrations of 3–5 μg/l and 7–13 μg/l respectively. Porcine insulin was also a potent competitor. Affinity cross-linking studies, followed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under reducing conditions demonstrated that both IGF peptides were linked to a protein with a molecular weight of about 130 000 Da characteristic of the α-subunit of the type I receptor. There was no evidence for the presence of a type II receptor similar to that found in mammals.

Specific binding of both peptides was low on the day of hatch, increased about threefold by day 3 of age and remained high for the first 3 weeks of life before returning to a lower steady state level up to 10 weeks of age. This was the result of variation in receptor number, with no change in the affinity of the binding site for either ligand. The affinity constant for IGF-II (4·5 ± 0·5 (s.e.m.) litres/nmol) was higher than for IGF-I (1·4 ± 0·3 litres/nmol).

Insulin-like growth factors have previously been reported to stimulate the metabolism and growth of hepatocytes in vitro and are produced by these cells. The occurrence of a higher number of receptors at the period of most rapid growth of the liver suggests that they may have a role in regulating normal liver growth in an autocrine or paracrine manner. Furthermore, present evidence suggests that this is through a single receptor related to the type I receptor.

Journal of Endocrinology (1990) 125, 199–206

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Y. S. Davidson, I. Davies and C. Goddard

ABSTRACT

The mechanism of water conservation is impaired in ageing mammals. An age-related defect in the release of vasopressin has been implicated but, more recently, attention has moved to the renal component of the water conservation mechanism. Previous studies using renal cells prepared from mice of different ages have shown that the threshold dose of vasopressin required to elicit a significant rise in cyclic AMP (cAMP) was greater in older animals. The dose–response curve was moved to the right in 35-month-old mice, i.e. the concentration of vasopressin required to give maximum cAMP output was increased. To investigate this further we examined the binding of vasopressin to renal medullary cells maintained in short-term culture, to determine whether the decreased response of cAMP levels to vasopressin is due to changes in hormone-receptor interaction. In 6-month-old male mice the dissociation constant (K d) was 2·38 nmol/l and the maximum binding of the hormone (Bmax) was 47·6 fmol/106 cells, and at 30 months of age K d was 2·37 nmol/l and Bmax was 47·0 fmol/106 cells. In female mice the changes were more complicated because the data for the 6-month-old mice could be split into two groups. It is concluded that there are no age-related differences in the numbers of receptors or their affinity for vasopressin, and that the decreased cAMP response is probably associated with post-receptor mechanisms in this species.

J. Endocr. (1987) 115, 379–385

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S. C. Butterwith, C. D. Peddie and C. Goddard

ABSTRACT

The development of adipose tissue is dependent on the growth and differentiation of fibroblast-like adipocyte precursor cells. Culture of adipocyte precursor cells in vitro has provided an ideal system for identifying potential regulators of proliferation and differentiation. We have demonstrated that both acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) stimulate chicken adipocyte precursor DNA synthesis in a dose-dependent manner up to a concentration of 100 μg aFGF/l and 1 μg bFGF/l. The effect of bFGF was biphasic, so that in incubations with 25 μg bFGF/l, DNA synthesis was not significantly different from controls. In the presence of heparin, stimulation of DNA synthesis at 25 μg bFGF/l was 1·6-fold greater than at a concentration of 1 μg bFGF/l. Addition of heparin to incubations containing aFGF reduced the concentration required for maximum stimulation of DNA synthesis to 1 μg/l. Cells incubated with aFGF (1–100 μg/l) in combination with insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factor-α or transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) exhibited a marked synergistic increase in DNA synthesis. This was also the case when 1 μg bFGF/l was used, but at a concentration of 25 pg bFGF/l synergy was only seen with IGF-I and TGF-β1. These results suggest that both basic and acidic FGF are potentially important regulators of adipocyte hyperplasia and that their effect is modulated by constituents of the extracellular matrix and the presence of other growth factors.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 137, 369–374

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S. C. Butterwith, C. D. Peddie and C. Goddard

ABSTRACT

The hyperplastic capacity of adipose tissue resides in a group of fibroblast-like adipocyte precursor cells. There is evidence to suggest that their proliferation and differentiation is regulated by insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) but there is less information about other growth factors which may also participate in adipocyte precursor cell hyperplasia.

Transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α) is a 50 amino acid polypeptide which has been shown to stimulate proliferation in both neoplastic and normal cell types acting through the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor. We have studied the regulation of DNA synthesis and the activity of lipoprotein lipase by TGF-α in chicken adipocyte precursor cells in vitro. Both TGF-α and EGF stimulated incorporation of [3H]thymidine into DNA in a dose-dependent manner. TGF-α was approximately 180-fold more potent than EGF. Addition of TGF-α in combination with IGF-I, TGF-β1 or platelet-derived growth factor produced a synergistic increase in DNA synthesis. Short-term incubation with TGF-α reduced lipoprotein lipase activity by 23%.

These results show that TGF-α is a potent mitogen in these adipocyte precursor cells and can inhibit their differentiation in vitro and may participate in the regulation of adipose tissue development in vivo.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 134, 163–168

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V Dunaiski, FR Dunshea, PE Walton and C Goddard

Growth hormone (GH) improves growth performance in the pig. Analogues of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) that bind poorly to IGF binding proteins (IGFBP) stimulate growth in the rat but, in contrast, inhibit growth in the pig. This study was designed to determine the effect of IGF peptides alone or in combination with porcine GH (pGH) on growth characteristics and plasma hormone concentrations in finisher pigs. A four-day infusion of Long [R3] IGF-I (LR3IGF-I; 180 micrograms/kg/day) decreased the average daily gain, food intake, and plasma IGFBP-3, IGF-I and insulin concentrations. The mean plasma GH concentration was decreased by 23% and the area under the GH peaks was reduced by 60%. Co-administration of pGH (30 micrograms/kg/day) with LR3IGF-I had no interactive effect on growth performance, and plasma insulin, IGFBP-3 and IGF-I concentrations remained suppressed. The area under the GH peaks was not restored with this combination treatment although mean plasma GH concentrations were elevated in all animals receiving pGH. Infusion of IGF-I (180 micrograms/kg/day) decreased plasma insulin and mean GH concentrations but had no significant effect on IGFBP-3 concentrations. Average daily gain and feed intake were not changed by IGF-I treatment. A combination of IGF-I and pGH injection (30 micrograms/kg/day) increased plasma IGFBP-3 concentrations but plasma insulin levels remained suppressed. Plasma glucose levels were unaffected by any treatment. The study demonstrates that both IGF-I and LR3IGF-I suppress plasma GH concentrations in finisher pigs. This, in turn, may be responsible for the reduction in the plasma concentration of IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and insulin seen in LR3IGF-I-treated animals. The decrease in these parameters may contribute to the inhibitory effect of LR3IGF-I on growth performance in the pig.

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SE Bastian, AJ Dunbar, IK Priebe, PC Owens and C Goddard

Betacellulin, a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family, was originally isolated and identified from the conditioned medium from a murine pancreatic beta-cell carcinoma cell line. Recently, we isolated bovine betacellulin from a growth factor enriched cheese whey extract, but there is no information on the presence of betacellulin in other biological fluids. We have cloned the cDNA for bovine betacellulin, produced recombinant betacellulin and shown that it has a similar potency to the purified native molecule in stimulating the proliferation of Balb/c3T3 fibroblasts. We have produced a polyclonal antiserum to bovine betacellulin which did not cross-react with EGF or transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha). The antibody was used in a homologous RIA that was able to detect betacellulin in pooled bovine colostrum sampled during the first 3 days after calving (2.30+/-0.11 ng/ml mean+/-s.e.m.; n=6), in bovine milk soluble fraction (1.93+/-0.64 ng/ml mean+/-s.e.m.; n=5) and in bovine cheese whey (2.59+/-0.16 ng/ml mean+/-s.e.m.; n=3). The betacellulin concentration in foetal bovine serum (FBS) (3.68+/-0.59 ng/ml mean+/-s.e.m.; n=6) greatly exceeded that of betacellulin in serum from male calves 1 and 5 weeks of age (0.53+/-0.15 ng/ml and 0.70+/- 0.09 ng/ml respectively; mean+/-s.e.m.; n=9). Betacellulin measured in the serum of these same animals when aged between 27 and 43 weeks was below the detection limits of the RIA. Sera from 10 out of 36 unmated heifers contained betacellulin levels within the detection limits of the assay (0.433+/-0.06 ng/ml mean+/-s.e.m.; n=10). The presence of betacellulin in bovine colostrum and milk suggests that it plays a role in the growth and development of the neonate and/or mammary gland function. The results also show that betacellulin is undetectable in the castrated adult male circulation. Additionally, although present in very low amounts, serum betacellulin could be under hormonal regulation in the female, since betacellulin was detected in sera from 27% of the unmated heifers examined in this study. The high levels of betacellulin detected in FBS relative to newborn and adult serum suggests a possible endocrine role for this growth factor in the bovine foetus.

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M. J. Duclos, R. S. Wilkie and C. Goddard

ABSTRACT

Insulin-like growth factors-I and -II (IGF-I and IGF-II) stimulate proliferation, differentiation, nutrient uptake and protein accretion in muscle cells. These effects are thought to be mediated through the type-I IGF receptor although a role for the type-II IGF receptor cannot be ruled out, since it has been found in most cells studied so far. Current evidence suggests that the chicken does not have a type-II IGF receptor and therefore provides a good model to study the function of IGF peptides. We have compared the effects of insulin and insulin-like growth factors on DNA synthesis with the binding of these peptides to receptors in primary chicken muscle satellite cells.

Human IGF-I (hIGF-I), hIGF-II and porcine insulin increased thymidine incorporation into DNA by threefold in muscle satellite cells prepared from neonatal chickens. IGF-I and -II were almost equipotent, with half-maximum effective concentrations of 10 μg/l, and were 1000-fold more potent than insulin. A combination of maximum effective concentrations of all three peptides was not additive, suggesting that their effect was mediated by the same receptor.

Receptor binding studies on satellite cells demonstrated the presence of specific IGF receptors. Human IGF-I inhibited the binding of 125I-labelled hIGF-I with a much higher potency than insulin, as usually observed for a type-I IGF receptor. However, unlabelled hIGF-II exhibited a higher potency than hIGF-I in displacing 125I-labelled hIGF-I. Affinity cross-linking of 125I-labelled hIGF-I and -II, followed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, showed that hIGF-I and -II bound to a receptor with the structural characteristics of a type-I IGF receptor and confirmed the lack of a type-II IGF receptor in these cells. The concentrations of IGF-I, -II and insulin required for biological action and to displace 125I-labelled hIGF-I binding were similar, and support the hypothesis that their effects on proliferation were mediated exclusively through a type-I IGF receptor.

Journal of Endocrinology (1991) 128, 35–42

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D. G. Armstrong, C. O. McKay, D. J. Morrell and C. Goddard

ABSTRACT

This investigation describes the presence of insulinlike growth factor-I (IGF-I) binding proteins in chicken serum. Whole blood was collected from broiler chickens of 7–9 weeks of age and analysed for binding proteins after gel permeation chromatography under both neutral and acidic conditions, and by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of 12·5% sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS-PAGE).

When serum was chromatographed under neutral conditions, about 70% of the IGF-I immunoreactivity was associated with a large protein complex (Mr=150 000) and 20–25% was associated with an intermediate-sized protein complex (Mr = 45 000). Up to 6% of the serum IGF-I immunoreactivity was eluted in a fraction which corresponded to an Mr of about 7500 and was presumably free IGF-I. Chromatography under acidic conditions dissociated the IGF-I/protein complexes and revealed the presence of an acid-stable binding protein (Mr = 50 000–60 000).

After analysis of serum by SDS-PAGE, three monomeric IGF-I binding proteins (Mr = 28 800, 33 200 and 40 700) were detected. The largest monomer (Mr = 40 700) is probably the binding protein component of the intermediate-sized IGF-I/protein complex. The relationship between the other monomers and both the large IGF-I/protein complex and the acid-stable binding protein is not known.

Although the pattern of binding proteins in chicken serum is similar to that observed in mammals, a major difference is the presence of up to 6% of the serum IGF-I immunoreactivity in an unbound form.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 120, 373–378