Igf-1 And The Heart

  • Marc Y Donath
  • Juergen Zapf
Part of the Endocrine Updates book series (ENDO, volume 9)


The so-called somatomedin hypothesis (1) states that growth hormone (GH) acts on skeletal tissues indirectly by inducing the production of a growth factor, somatomedin, circulating in blood and mediating the effects of GH on growth. After the isolation and amino sequencing of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF I) and its biological characterization it became evident that this polypeptide was the postulated somatomedin. IGF I consists of 70 amino acids and has a molecular weight of 7649 (2). It is mainly produced and secreted by the liver. However, many other tissues synthesize IGF I which acts locally on these tissues. The significance of endocrine versus auto-/paracrine actions of IGF I is still under debate. Two recent publications provide evidence that in mice liver-derived circulating IGF I is not required for growth (3, a). IGF I tissue expression is under the control of GH (5), but other factors, like insulin or nutrition, also influence IGF I production. Both endogenous and administered IGF I mimic trophic effects of pituitary GH. In contrast, some effects of administered IGF I on intermediary metabolism are opposite to those of GH (6, 7). Moreover, the two hormones act by different mechanisms, which implies that endogenous IGF I induced by GH does in general not mediate the effects of GH on intermediary metabolism. Cardiac effects of IGF were first investigated by Meuli and Froesch in 1975 in the perfused rat heart (8). IGF, like insulin, stimulated glucose transport and lactate production. The biological potency ratio between IGF and insulin in this model was higher than in adipose tissue. Based on this finding and on competitive binding studies, it was concluded that insulin and IGF act on the heart separately via the insulin and the type 1 IGF receptor, respectively (9). In 1986 Borner and Froesch showed that IGF I stimulated the contractility of the isolated perfused rat heart (Figure 1). Since the availability of pure IGF I was limited at that time the positive inotropic effects of IGF I could not be extensively tested, and the data remained unpublished.


Growth Hormone Cardiac Hypertrophy Atrial Natriuretic Factor Positive Inotropic Effect Acute Cardiovascular Effect 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Y Donath
    • 1
  • Juergen Zapf
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology and DiabetesDept of Medicine, University HospitalZurich

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