Insulin-like Growth Factor I: Regulation and Interactions During Aging-Induced Cognitive Decline and Impairment Within the Hippocampus

  • P. K. Lund
  • K. L. Stenvers
  • M. Gallagher


A considerable body of evidence indicates that hippocampal circuitry is especially vulnerable to the neurodegeneration associated with normal and pathological aging. However, aged hippocampus appears to retain some of its capacity to regenerate in response to this damage [1–3]. Axonal sprouting and synaptic reorganization have been reported in hippocampal regions sustaining loss of cells or input during normal aging [2, 3]. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) are believed to be necessary for such structural reorganization. One family of NTFs, the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), may have actions on a broad spectrum of hippocampal cells [4–10]. This family of growth factors consists of two peptides, IGF-I and IGF-1I, which interact with two different receptors, the type 1 and type 2 IGF receptors (IGFR). The type 1 IGFR, which has high affinity for both IGFs, mediates many of the proliferative and differentiative actions of the IGFs [9, 10]. The functional role of the type 2 receptor, which has high affinity for IGF-II but low affinity for IGF-I, is not well defined [11–14]. The IGF system also includes a family of six IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs) that modulate IGF action and availability in tissue-, cell-, and development-specific manners [9,10].


Dentate Gyrus Receptor mRNA Hippocampal Formation Granule Cell Layer Aged Animal 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Lund
    • 1
  • K. L. Stenvers
    • 2
  • M. Gallagher
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Curriculum in NeurobiologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Ludwig Institute for Cancer ResearchMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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