Although very similar to insulin and its receptor; the modus operandi of the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) within the body is very different from that of the traditional peptide hormone. The IGF-binding proteins bind the IGFs with greater affinity than the cell surface receptors, enabling them to tightly control tissue activity. In addition to their role in fetal and childhood growth, IGFs play an important role in metabolic regulation. This article describes the basic underlying human physiology of IGFs, how this differs from that of experimental models, and why some information can only be learned from human clinical studies.
|Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
|Published - 2012