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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Insulin-like growth factor binding protein production in bovine retinal endothelial cells.

Retinopathy is the most frequent microangiopathic complication in diabetes. Many circulating hormones and locally produced mitogenic factors have been involved. Bovine retinal endothelial cells (BRECs) were cultured to investigate if insulin, insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs), and a chronic high-glucose condition could control endothelial cell growth. Specific IGF-I receptors with two binding sites with high (Kd 0.03 nmol/L) and low (Kd 1.3 nmol/L) affinity were found when analyzing families of displacement curves between IGF-I versus IGF-I and IGF-I versus insulin. However, IGFs failed to be mitogenic factors in these cells. This could be explained by an inhibitory effect due to the presence of specific IGFBPs with a molecular weight between 24 and 43 kd. Using Western blot and immunoblot analysis, Northern blot study, and specific radioimmunoassay (RIA), these IGFBPs have been identified as IGFBP-3, -2, -5, and -4. Insulin, which does not bind to IGFBPs, was a potent mitogenic factor in these cells at a high concentration (10 nmol/L), suggesting a cross-reaction to IGF-I receptor. These IGFBPs, except the 24-kd form (IGFBP-4), were modulated by both IGF-I and IGF-II, with a maximum effect at 100 and 10 nmol/L, respectively. This regulation on IGFBPs was IGF-I receptor-independent. In fact, (1) IGFBP mRNA levels were not modified after stimulation with 100 nmol/L IGF-I, (2) 100 nmol/L IGF plus an equimolar concentration of alpha IR3 did not affect IGFBP production, (3) Des(1-3)IGF-I had no effect on IGFBP modulation, whereas at 10 nmol/L it enhanced BREC thymidine cell incorporation, and (4) 100 nmol/L insulin, which at this concentration can cross-react with the IGF-I receptor, did not modify the IGFBP pattern. Chronic exposure (4 weeks) of BRECs to 25 mmol/L glucose had no effect on cell growth. However, after 3 weeks, we observed a decreased IGFBP detection, and addition of 100 nmol/L IGF-I did not change IGFBP levels and did not modify cell growth. Conversely, BRECs grown in regular medium for 4 weeks showed increased IGFBP production. In conclusion, we showed that conditions mimicking hyperinsulinemia, rather than high levels of IGFs, could regulate BREC growth and that the IGF-I analog, Des(1-3), even with reduced affinity for IGFBPs but in part capable of binding to IGFBP-3, significantly stimulated BRECs growth only at 10 nmol/L. IGF actions are modulated by locally produced endothelial IGFBPs, and in turn, these endothelial IGFBPs are regulated, via in IGF-I receptor-independent mechanism, by the presence of IGFs. The autoregulatory IGF system together with the direct glucose modulation of IGFBPs could contribute in diabetic subjects to the retinal endothelial cell growth and metabolism through local changes in IGF bioavailability.[1]


  1. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein production in bovine retinal endothelial cells. Giannini, S., Cresci, B., Manuelli, C., Fujita-Yamaguchi, Y., Romagnani, P., Mohan, S., Rotella, C.M. Metab. Clin. Exp. (1997) [Pubmed]
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