The insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-binding proteins and IGF bioactivity in Laron-type dwarfism

A M Cotterill, J M Holly, A M Taylor, S C Davies, V J Coulson, M A Preece, J A Wass, M O Savage

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Laron-type dwarfism (LTD) is caused by a variable defect in the GH receptor gene and is, therefore, an ideal model to study the physiology of the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and their binding proteins (IGFBPs) in the complete absence of GH action. In this study we examined the overnight variation of the IGFs, IGFBPs, and IGF bioactivity in two prepubertal subjects with LTD. Subject 1 was a 14-yr-old female, 103 cm tall (-8.3 SD), and subject 2 was a 11.5-yr-old male, 103.6 cm tall (-5.9 SD). Both had serum IGF-I levels below 0.07 U/mL and low constant serum IGF-II levels overnight (185 +/- 10 and 232 +/- 8 micrograms/L), despite high serum GH levels [mean GH, 65 (32.5 micrograms/L) and 53 mU/L (26.5 micrograms/L)]. Serum IGFBP-1 levels increased overnight (from 24 and 22 micrograms/L at 2000 h to 83 and 110 micrograms/L at 0800 h) as serum insulin levels fell [from 19 (136 pmol/L) and 17 mU/L (122 pmol/L) at 2000 h to less than 2 (less than 14 pmol/L) and 5 mU/L (36 pmol/L) at 0800 h] in subjects 1 and 2, respectively. Serum IGFBP-2 levels remained constant overnight, as assessed on Western Ligand blotting and, despite the changes in IGFBP-1, remained the most prominent IGFBP throughout. On size separation, most of the IGF-II (greater than 60%) eluted with IGFBP-2 and the other low mol wt IGFBPs. Serum IGFBP-3 levels were reduced, and IGFBP-3 was not the major IGF carrier in LTD serum, in contrast to normal serum. An IGFBP-3-specific protease that was heat sensitive and cation dependent was identified as the cause of an apparent overnight rise of serum IGFBP-3 levels. No IGFBP-3 variation and no proteolytic activity was seen in normal serum or rapidly separated LTD plasma. Serum IGF bioactivity, measured in a porcine cartilage bioassay, was 0.18 and 0.55 U/mL in subjects 1 and 2; differences in bioactivity between subjects did not relate to serum IGF-II levels, but, rather, to differences in IGFBP-3 levels. Serum IGF bioactivity was not constant overnight and varied in a similar fashion in both subjects 1 and 2, with reduction in bioactivity between 0600-0800 h by 55% and 32%, suggesting the presence of inhibitory factors in the LTD serum; this decrease coincided with the rise in serum IGFBP-1 levels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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