Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) reduce IGF-binding protein-4 (IGFBP-4) concentration and stimulate IGFBP-3 independently of IGF receptors in human fibroblasts and epidermal cells

E. Kirk Neely, Ron G. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Recent studies have provided a consensus that insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) stimulates IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) in vivo and in vitro. While it also appears well established that IGFBP-1 is inversely related to insulin concentrations, evidence regarding regulation of other IGFBP is inconclusive. Using immunoprecipitation and Western ligand blot, we have characterized the IGFBPs released into conditioned medium (CM) by cells from the adult human fibroblast cell line N3652 and the human epidermal squamous cell carcinoma line SCL-1. N3652 cells expressed IGFBP-3, IGFBP-2, a 24-kilodalton (kDa) IGFBP presumed to be IGFBP-4, and IGFBPs at 30 and 28 kDa. SCL-1 expressed IGFBP-3 and a putative IGFBP-4, with intermediate bands at 34 and 30 kDa. As determined by ligand blot of CM from confluent cells 72 h after the addition of peptides to serum-free medium, IGF-I and IGF-II potently stimulated IGFBP-3 in both cell lines, but otherwise IGFBP regulation in the two cells diverged. In N3652 cells, IGFBP-3 concentrations in CM increased to 700% and 800% of basal levels in the presence of IGF-I and IGF-II (at 100 ng/ml; n = 5 experiments), respectively. IGFBP-3 was not affected by insulin up to 10 μg/ml. In contrast, IGFBP-4 levels were diminished 54% and 73% by 100 ng/ml IGF-I and IGF-II, respectively, with no response to insulin. In SCL-1 cells, IGF-I and IGF-II were virtually identical in stimulating a mean 200% increase in IGFBP-3 (n = 5 experiments). Insulin was less potent, but caused a significant stimulation of IGFBP-3 levels. IGF-I, IGF-II, and insulin all stimulated an approximately 50% increase in IGFBP-4 concentrations. To test the hypothesis that IGF-induced alterations in IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-4 concentrations were regulated via the type 1 IGF receptor, we attempted to block IGFBP changes with type 1 IGF receptor antibody αIR-3 and to induce IGFBP changes with an IGF-II analog, [Leu27]IGF-II, with little affinity for the type 1 receptor. αIR-3 failed to block either the IGF-induced rise in IGFBP-3 in each cell line or the decline in IGFBP-4 in N3652 CM. [Leu27]IGF-II was as potent as IGF-II or IGF-I in inducing changes in IGFBP-3 and IGFBP-4 concentrations. We conclude that IGF-I and IGF-II induce an increase in IGFBP-3 in SCL-1 epidermal cells and N3652 fibroblasts and a decline in IGFBP-4 only in N3652, and that these changes do not require IGF binding to the type 1 or type 2 IGF receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)985-993
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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