Home > Journals > Minerva Endocrinology > Past Issues > Minerva Endocrinologica 2002 December;27(4) > Minerva Endocrinologica 2002 December;27(4):299-311



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Minerva Endocrinologica 2002 December;27(4):299-311


language: English

A transgenic model to determine the physiological role of liver-derived insulin-like growth factor I

Sjögren K., Jansson J. O., Isaksson O. G. P., Ohlsson C.


Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) has important growth promoting and metabolic effects and is expressed in virtually every tissue of the body. The highest expression is found in the liver but the physiological role of liver-derived IGF-I is unknown. It has been difficult to separate the endocrine effects of liver-derived IGF-I from the autocrine/paracrine effects of locally produced IGF-I in peripheral tissues. Therefore, we have developed a mouse model with a liver-specific inducible deletion of the IGF-I gene. The liver-IGF-I deficient mouse have dramatically reduced (>80%) serum IGF-I levels, demonstrating that the major part of serum IGF-I is liver-derived. Surprisingly, liver-IGF-I deficient mice demonstrate a normal appendicular skeletal growth up to at least 12 months of age despite the dramatic decrease in circulating IGF-I levels, indicating that liver-derived IGF-I is not required for appendicular skeletal growth. However, the adult axial skeletal growth is clearly reduced in the liver-IGF-I deficient mice. Furthermore, the amount of cortical bone is reduced due to decreased radial growth of the cortical bone while the amount of trabecular bone is unchanged in the liver-IGF-I deficient mice. The decreased levels of circulating IGF-I are associated with increased serum levels of growth hormone (GH), indicating a role for liver-derived IGF-I in the negative feedback regulation of GH secretion. Measurements of factors regulating GH-secretion in the pituitary and in the hypothalamus revealed an increased expression of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) and growth hormone secretagogue (GHS) receptors in the pituitary of liver-IGF-I deficient mice. This in turn results in an increased sensitivity to systemically administered GHRH and GHS, demonstrating that the regulatory action of liver-derived IGF-I on GH secretion is at the pituitary rather than at the hypothalamic level. The liver is an important metabolic organ and liver-IGF-I deficient mice are markedly hyperinsulinemic and yet normoglycemic, consistent with an adequately compensated insulin resistance. Interestingly, liver-IGF-I deficient mice display a reduced age-dependent fat mass accumulation compared with control mice. In conclusion, liver-derived IGF-I is important for carbohydrate- and lipid-metabolism and for the regulation of GH-secretion at the pituitary level. Furthermore, it regulates adult axial skeletal growth and cortical radial growth while it is not required for appendicular skeletal growth.

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