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  • Author: R G Rosenfeld x
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S M Donovan, R L Hintz and R G Rosenfeld


We have previously reported the presence of IGF-I and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP-2, -3 and -4) in rat milk. Herein, the potential sources of rat milk IGF-I and IGFBPs were investigated. Lactating dams (day 14 postpartum) were separated from their pups and injected intraperitoneally with 0·45 μCi 125I-IGF-I or 125I-IGFBP-3. After 3 h, serum and milk of rats receiving 125I-IGF-I contained 7642 ± 3121 and 14 455 ± 7837 c.p.m./ml respectively. Serum and milk of rats given 125I-IGFBP-3 contained 7232 ± 1366 and 10 371 ± 4091 c.p.m./ml respectively. Sephacryl S-200 gel filtration chromatography demonstrated that the 125I-IGF-I in both serum and milk was primarily in the 150 kDa IGF-binding complex, whereas the distribution of 125I-IGFBP-3 differed between serum and milk. In serum, most of the 125I-IGFBP-3 was in the 150 kDa fraction, while most 125I-IGFBP-3 in milk was in the 40 kDa fraction. Northern analysis of liver showed IGFBP-1 and -3 mRNA expression, with variable expression of IGFBP-2 and -4 mRNA. In contrast, mammary tissue expressed only IGFBP-2 and -4 mRNA, suggesting that these IGFBPs in milk may arise from de novo synthesis within the mammary gland. The lack of detectable IGFBP-3 mRNA in mammary tissue and the translocation of 125I-IGFBP-3 from the serum suggest that milk IGFBP-3 arises from the maternal circulation.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 145, 569–578

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T Matsumoto, S E Gargosky, Y Oh and R G Rosenfeld


The aim of this study was to assess the regulation of insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins (IGFBPs) by IGFs in primary cultures of rat articular chondrocytes (RAC). Employing Western ligand blotting, immunoprecipitation and Northern blot analysis, RAC were found to secrete IGFBP-5 (29 kDa) and IGFBP-4 (24 kDa) as the predominant IGFBPs, as well as IGFBP-2 (32–30 kDa) and IGFBP-3 (43–39 kDa) as the minor species. Treatment of cells with IGF-I and IGF-II resulted in a dose-dependent increase of IGFBP-5 and a small increase in IGFBP-4 in conditioned media (CM). Des(1–3) IGF-I and [Gln6, Ala7,Tyr18, Leu19] IGF-II ([QAYL] IGF-II), which bind to the type 1 IGF receptor but not to IGFBPs, also induced IGFBP-5 peptide, although the increase was less than with IGF-I or IGF-II treatment of RAC. [Leu27] IGF-II, which does not bind to the type 1 IGF receptor but binds to IGFBPs, resulted in little induction of IGFBP-5, while [QAYL-Leu27] IGF-II, which has reduced affinity for both the type 1 IGF receptor and IGFBPs, did not increase IGFBP-5. These data suggest that the increase in IGFBP-5 in CM is modulated by both the type 1 IGF receptor and the interaction between IGFs and IGFBPs. Northern blotting analysis showed that IGF-I, IGF-II and des(1–3) IGF-I treatment of RAC increased steady state levels of IGFBP-5 mRNA, suggesting that the IGF-mediated increase in IGFBP-5 is transcriptionally modulated. Interestingly, the increase in IGFBP-5 peptide levels and mRNA were not parallel, suggesting the possibility of post-translational modifications of IGFBP-5, such as those seen with IGFBP-5 protease. IGFBP-5 protease activity was detectable in untreated CM, whereas treatment with IGF-I and IGF-II partially protected IGFBP-5 from proteolysis. In summary, treatment of RAC with IGF-I and IGF-II results in dose-dependent increases in both IGFBP-5 peptide in the CM and mRNA levels. These changes are mediated by interactions via the type 1 IGF receptor as well as IGFBPs, both transcriptionally and post-translationally.

Journal of Endocrinology (1996) 148, 355–369

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N. Watanabe, R. G. Rosenfeld, R. L. Hintz, L. A. Dollar and R. L. Smith


In order to obtain a phenotypically stable cell population of chondrocytes, high density primary monolayer cultures of bovine articular chondrocytes were established. Using these cultures, a specific insulin-like growth factor-I/somatomedin-C (IGF-I/SM-C) receptor was demonstrated and characterized. At 15 °C steady-state binding was attained by 5 h, and averaged 25% per 2·2 × 106 cells. Fifty per cent displacement of 125I-labelled IGF-I/SM-C by unlabelled IGF-I/SM-C occurred at concentrations of only 2·3 ng/ml, whereas IGF-II and porcine insulin were approximately 15-and 1000-fold less potent respectively. Scatchard analysis gave a linear plot, with a calculated association constant of 2·26 × 109 l/mol and a receptor number of 15 400 sites per cell.

Preincubation of chondrocyte monolayers with either IGF-I/SM-C or porcine insulin at 37 °C for 20 h resulted in reduction of 125I-labelled IGF-I/SM-C binding in a dose-dependent manner, although higher concentrations were required with insulin. More than 40% down-regulation of the receptor occurred with IGF-I/SM-C at concentrations of 10 nmol/l and nearly 70% reduction at 50 nmol/l. Interestingly, after preincubation with either human (h) or bovine (b)GH, 40% down-regulation of 125I-labelled IGF-I/SM-C binding was observed at concentrations of 10 μmol/l. Local production of IGF-I/SM-C by chondrocytes in response to GH stimulation may have occurred, but, because only 120 pmol IGF-I/SM-C and < 30 pmol IGF-I/SM-C per litre were recovered from serum-free conditioned media preincubated with bGH and hGH respectively, this was not established.

These studies demonstrate that cultured bovine articular chondrocytes possess a highly specific IGF-I/SM-C receptor, and that this receptor population is regulated not only by IGF-I/SM-C and insulin but also by high concentrations of either hGH or bGH. These results are consistent with the growth-promoting action of IGF-I/SM-C on skeletal tissues, and suggest the possibility that GH itself may play its own role to modulate IGF-I/SM-C receptors on chondrocytes.

J. Endocr. (1985) 107, 275–283

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K S Nason, N D Binder, J I Labarta, R G Rosenfeld and S E Gargosky


During pregnancy, changes in the IGF axis are associated with changes in maternal metabolism and nutrient repartitioning which are necessary to meet the demands of a growing conceptus. The aim of this study was to assess the IGF axis, maternal weight changes and food intake in female New Zealand White rabbits (n=7) prior to breeding (day 0) and serially throughout pregnancy until term (day 30-31).

The total weight of the pregnant does progressively increased from 4·03±0·06 kg (mean ± s.e.m.) on day 0 to 4·47 ±0·07 kg on day 30 (P<0·001). Maternal tissue mass (total weight minus estimated conceptus weight) increased until day 18, plateaued to day 22/23, and then significantly declined. On day 30, the maternal tissue mass was not significantly different from the non-pregnant value, such that the final increase in total weight was due to conceptus growth. Although the does were fed ad libitum, food intake did not change until day 29 when it decreased to approximately 50% of previous intake (P<0·01).

Maternal serum IGF-I was 499 ± 32 ng/ml on day 0, reached a peak of 832 ± 160 ng/ml on day 21 (P<0·02), and then declined to 341 ± 49 ng/ml on day 30. In contrast, serum IGF-II increased dramatically from a non-pregnant level of 85 ±14 ng/ml to 16 295 ± 2488 ng/ml on day 23 (P<0·001), and then rapidly declined (3335 ± 954 ng/ml, day 30). Changes in serum IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) followed a pattern similar to IGF-II, as assessed by Western-ligand blotting. All IGFBPs, especially the 45–40 kDa IGFBP-3 doublet, increased dramatically between days 12 and 24 of pregnancy, and then declined towards term.

In conclusion, we observed unique and dramatic changes in the maternal serum IGF axis that corresponded to periods of maternal weight gain and loss. The tissue source of IGFs and IGFBPs remains undetermined, although it is of note that the time when major changes in the IGF axis were first observed coincided with the time of functional change from yolk sac to placenta in the rabbit.

Journal of Endocrinology (1996) 148, 121–130

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P Cohen, D M Peehl, H C B Graves and R G Rosenfeld


Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is an insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) protease found in seminal plasma and produced by prostatic epithelial cells (PC-E) in vivo. We examined the effects of PSA-proteolysis of IGFBP-3 on the affinity of IGFBP-3 fragments for IGFs and on the mitogenic action of IGFs on PC-E. Recombinant human IGFBP-3 was cleaved by PSA, then incubated with 125I-IGF-I or -II in the presence of varying concentrations of unlabelled peptides, and then cross-linking electrophoresis and densitometric analysis were performed. While the affinity of IGF-II for the PSA-generated IGFBP-3 fragments fell slightly compared to intact IGFBP-3, the affinity of the PSA-generated IGFBP-3 fragments for IGF-I fell by ten fold. The addition of IGF-I or -II to PC-E in serum-free culture conditions resulted in a two-fold stimulation of cell number compared to control. The presence of IGFBP-3 in the media blocked the IGF-induced stimulation, but had no independent effect in the absence of IGFs. When PSA was added to PC-E cultures to which both IGF-I or -II and IGFBP-3 were added, the inhibitory effects of IGFBP-3 on IGF mitogenesis were reversed. We conclude that PSA decreases the affinity of IGFBP-3 for IGF and can potentiate IGF action in the presence of inhibitory IGFBP-3. This phenomenon may contribute to normal and malignant prostate growth.

Journal of Endocrinology (1994) 142, 407–415

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T. Okajima, M. Iwashita, Y. Takeda, S. Sakamoto, T. Tanabe, T. Yasuda and R. G. Rosenfeld


We have examined the biological effects of insulinlike growth factor-binding proteins (IGFBPs) on insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-activated glucose consumption in a BALB/c 3T3 subline. The method employed was a colorimetric measurement of glucose consumption, allowing the detection of changes from the initial glucose concentration in conditioned medium, following the addition of IGFs and IGFBPs. Human IGFBP-1, purified from amniotic fluid, inhibited IGF-activated glucose consumption, although it had no effect on insulin-activated glucose consumption. The median effective dose (ED50) of IGFBP-1 to cause inhibitory effects on IGF-activated glucose consumption was 100–200 μg/l and was similar for both IGF-I and IGF-II at a concentration of 1·0 μg IGF/1. Therefore, at IGF concentrations of comparable activity, the inhibitory effects of IGFBP-1 were greater for IGF-I than for IGF-II, because of the higher activity of IGF-I in this assay. Recombinant human IGFBP-3 also inhibited IGF-activated glucose consumption, without affecting insulin-stimulated glucose consumption. The inhibitory effects of IGFBP-3 were greater for IGF-II than for IGF-I when IGFBP-3 was coincubated with either of the IGFs, at both IGF concentrations of comparable activity and equivalent molar concentrations. Thus, it became clear that the inhibitory effects of these IGFBPs on IGF biological action depended primarily upon their affinity for the specific IGF ligand and molar ratio of IGFBP/IGF peptide. Interestingly, when cells were pretreated with IGFBP-3, prior to the simultaneous addition of IGFs and IGFBP-3, the inhibitory effect was higher for IGF-I than for IGF-II. Either no effect or a minor inhibitory effect on IGFactivated glucose consumption was detected with IGFBP pretreatment alone. When the ED50 for inhibition of IGF action by IGFBPs in this in-vitro assay was compared with the physiological concentrations of IGFs and IGFBPs in normal human serum and in amniotic fluid, it was estimated that the IGFBP-1 concentration present in serum was not sufficient to modulate IGF action effectively while the concentration in amniotic fluid was enough for effective suppression. IGFBP-3 exhibited an ED50 low enough to suppress IGF-II and possibly IGF-I action when cells were pretreated with IGFBP-3. Thus, our data suggested that IGFBP-1 in amniotic fluid and IGFBP-3 in serum could be a potent inhibitor for IGF action. IGFBP-1 in serum, however, may not be able to function as a direct inhibitor under physiological conditions but, rather, may modulate IGF action together with other IGFBPs.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 136, 457–470

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S. E. Gargosky, K. Nanto-Salonen, P. Tapanainen and R. G. Rosenfeld


Pregnancy in rodents is associated with important maternal metabolic changes. Early pregnancy is considered to be an anabolic phase of nutrient storing, while in late pregnancy, a catabolic phase develops to help meet the metabolic demands of the rapidly growing conceptus. Similarly, major changes also occur in the IGFs, IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) and GH axis. In the rat, maternal serum IGF-I levels increase from early to mid-pregnancy, after which IGF-I levels decline. Conversely, as IGF-I levels decline, pituitary-derived rat GH increases twofold. This coincides with a decrease in IGFBP-3 and the appearance of an IGFBP protease. However, the physiological role of these changes is unclear.

The aim of our study was to examine the roles of GH, IGFs and IGFBPs during pregnancy in a unique isolated GH-deficient rat model, spontaneous dwarf rats.

Pregnancy in GH-deficient dams resulted in a significantly reduced litter number, and maternal weight gain (day 21–day 1) was reduced by 28% when compared with dams with normal GH levels (GH-normal dams). In the sera of GH-normal dams, IGF-I levels increased 2·6-fold by day 4 of pregnancy and then progressively declined to below non-pregnant levels. Serum IGF-II levels were low and remained unchanged. Western-ligand blot analysis showed that IGFBP-3 was present in non-pregnancy and early pregnancy sera, but declined dramatically after day 12. This decline in IGFBP-3 coincided with the detection of an IGFBP protease. In contrast, in non-pregnancy sera from GH-deficient rats, serum IGF-I concentrations were 10% of the levels seen in GH-normal females, and neither IGF-I nor IGF-II concentrations changed with pregnancy. Furthermore, in GH-deficient dams, serum IGFBP-3 (as assessed by Western-ligand blot analysis) was low in non-pregnancy and early pregnancy sera, and became undetectable by day 12 of pregnancy. The low concentrations of IGFBP-3 in early pregnancy serum from GH-deficient rats coincided with IGFBP-proteolytic activity, and the decline in serum IGFBP-3 after day 16 was the result of increased protease activity.

In conclusion, isolated GH deficiency results in: (1) reduced maternal weight gain and correspondingly smaller litter sizes; (2) low and unchanged maternal serum IGF-I levels; (3) low, but declining, serum IGFBP-3 levels; and (4) activity of IGFBP protease(s) detectable in early and late pregnancy, which may modulate the bioavailability and bioactivity of IGFs by regulating IGFBP-3.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 136, 479–489

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S E Gargosky, L C Giudice, R G Rosenfeld and A T Fazleabas


The ratio of the serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factors (IGF) to IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-3 is highly correlated (Baxter & Martin 1986). During pregnancy in the baboon, this ratio is perturbed; serum IGFBP-3 concentrations increase 10-fold, yet IGF-I levels are unaltered and IGF-II is increased only 2-fold (Giudice et al. 1993). The aims of this study were to determine the molecular distribution of IGFBP-3 and to identify the tissue source and form(s) of IGFBP-3 during pregnancy in the baboon. Serum of non-pregnant and pregnant baboons, and conditioned media of decidua and placental explant cultures were characterized using neutral size-exclusion chromatography in combination with Western ligand blot, Western immunoblot, an IGFBP-3 radioimmunoassay (RIA) and an IGFBP-3 protease assay. Localization of immunoreactive IGFBP-3 was determined by immunocytochemistry, and expression of IGFBP-3 mRNA in the placental and decidual explants was examined by Northern blot analysis.

RIA confirmed that immunoreactive IGFBP-3 is increased 10-fold in pregnancy serum compared with non-pregnancy serum. Size-exclusion chromatography combined with an IGFBP-3 RIA revealed that, unlike non-pregnancy serum where 70% of the immunoreactive IGFBP-3 elutes in the 150 kDa ternary complex, equal amounts of immunoreactive IGFBP-3 were measured in pregnancy serum in the ≤150 and 60 kDa IGFBP regions. Western analysis revealed that non-pregnancy serum contained predominantly a 45–40 kDa IGFBP-3 doublet and a 28 kDa immunoreactive form of IGFBP-3, while in pregnancy serum IGFBP-3 existed as a 45–40 kDa doublet, as well as 26–28 kDa and 18 kDa immunoreactive forms. These alternative forms of IGFBP-3 were not attributable to detectable IGFBP-3 protease activity.

To identify the source of the increased serum levels of IGFBP-3 during pregnancy, we examined explant culture media of baboon decidua and placenta. Size-exclusion chromatography combined with RIA and Western analysis revealed that: (1) more immunoreactive IGFBP-3 was produced by decidual cultures than by placental explants, but less 45–40 kDa IGFBP-3 was present in decidua; (2) the immunoreactive forms of IGFBP-3 detected in decidua were similar to those found in maternal serum; (3) placental explants secreted only 45–40 kDa IGFBP-3 in culture. IGFBP-3 was immunohistochemically localized to the cells of placental villi, and to the perinuclear region of the decidual cells and staining for IGFBP-3 was more intense in the decidua than in the placenta.

Northern analysis of the explant cultures revealed two IGFBP-3 mRNA transcripts of 2·4 and 1·7 kb in both decidua and placenta which may account for the different immunoreactive forms of IGFBP-3 detected in the baboon. However analysis of non-pregnancy liver also revealed two IGFBP-3 transcripts of 2·4 and 1·7 kb. These data suggest that the two transcripts are not solely pregnancy-associated and levels of protein may be the reason for detection of multiple immunoreactive IGFBP-3 fragments in pregnancy.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 147, 449–461