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The growth hormone axis and insulin-like growth factors

Author(s): Radosavljević Tatjana | Todorović Vera N. | Vučević Danijela | Šikić Branka

Journal: Medicinski Pregled
ISSN 0025-8105

Volume: 58;
Issue: 11-12;
Start page: 558;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: somatomedins | insulin-like growth factor I | insulin-like growth factor II | somatotropin

Introduction Growth is regulated by the interaction of environmental signals with endogenous neuroendocrine responses to the genetic programs that determine the body plan. The insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are integral components of multiple systems controlling both growth and metabolism. The IGF system The IGF system is thought to be more complex than other endocrine systems, as genes for six IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) have been identified so far. The IGFs play a critical role in both cell cycle control and apoptosis, two functions involved in regulation of tumorigenesis. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is essential for normal growth. Confirmation of the significance of IGF-I in human physiology was obtained by the discovery of a patient with intrauterine growth retardation and postnatal growth failure associated with a mutation in the IGF-1 gene. Stages of evolution of the somatomedin hypothesis The original somatomedin hypothesis postulated that somatic growth was regulated by growth hormone's (GH's) stimulation of hepatic IGF-1 production, with IGF-1 acting in an endocrine fashion to promote growth. The dual effectors theory proposed an alternative view, involving direct effects by GH on peripheral tissues not mediated by IGF-1 and GH-stimulated local IGF-1 production for autocrine/paracrine action. It is now clear that G H stimulates the formation of ternary IGF binding complex, which stabilizes IGF-I in the serum.
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