Extracellular signal-regulated kinase and phosphoinositol-3 kinase mediate IGF-1 induced proliferation of fetal sheep cardiomyocytes

Nathan C. Sundgren, George D. Giraud, Jess M. Schultz, Michael R. Lasarev, Philip J.S. Stork, Kent L. Thornburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Growth of the fetal heart involves cardiomyocyte enlargement, division, and maturation. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is implicated in many aspects of growth and is likely to be important in developmental heart growth. IGF-1 stimulates the IGF-1 receptor (IGF1R) and downstream signaling pathways, including extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and phosphoinositol-3 kinase (PI3K). We hypothesized that IGF-1 stimulates cardiomyocyte proliferation and enlargement through stimulation of the ERK cascade and stimulates cardiomyocyte differentiation through the PI3K cascade. In vivo administration of Long R3 IGF-1 (LR3 IGF-1) did not stimulate cardiomyocyte hypertrophy but led to a decreased percentage of cells that were binucleated in vivo. In culture, LR3 IGF-1 increased myocyte bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) uptake by three- to five-fold. The blockade of either ERK or PI3K signaling (by UO-126 or LY-294002, respectively) completely abolished BrdU uptake stimulated by LR3 IGF-1. LR3 IGF-1 did not increase footprint area, but as expected, phenylephrine stimulated an increase in binucleated cardiomyocyte size. We conclude that 1) IGF-1 through IGF1R stimulates cardiomyocyte division in vivo; hyperplastic growth is the most likely explanation of IGF-1 stimulated heart growth in vivo; 2) IGF-1 through IGF1R does not stimulate binucleation in vitro or in vivo; 3) IGF-1 through IGF1R does not stimulate hypertrophy either in vivo or in vitro; and 4) IGF-1 through IGF1R requires both ERK and PI3K signaling for proliferation of near-term fetal sheep cardiomyocytes in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1481-R1489
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 54-6
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Hyperplasia
  • Hypertrophy
  • LY-294002
  • UO-126

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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