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Special Issue "IGFs in Health and Disease"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ignacio Torres Aleman Website E-Mail
Systems Neurobiology, Cajal Institute (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
Interests: neurobiology of insulin peptides; blood–brain barrier; neurodegeneration; energy homeostasis; regulation of mood and cognition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The evolutionary ancient family of insulin peptides encompasses a relatively large number of hormones of which better-known representatives in vertebrates are insulin and IGF-1/2. Apart from the well-documented actions of insulin in energy balance and of IGFs as tissue remodelers, many aspects of the strikingly wide array of actions of insulin/IGFs, and their impact in physiology and disease, are under constant re-appraisal.

This Special Issue will focus on evolutionary aspects and context-dependent actions of insulin peptides in health and disease, as new functions arisen along evolution, together with contextual nuances (cell/tissue type, developmental stage, health and disease), demand an updating/revisiting of the field. 

Prof. Dr. Ignacio Torres Aleman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Somatotropic Axis Dysfunction in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Beneficial Hepatic and Systemic Effects of Hormone Supplementation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051339 - 02 May 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: Somatotropic axis dysfunction associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has potential multisystemic detrimental effects. Here, we analysed the effects of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) supplementation on liver histology, adipokine profile and muscle function in an NAFLD [...] Read more.
Background: Somatotropic axis dysfunction associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has potential multisystemic detrimental effects. Here, we analysed the effects of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) supplementation on liver histology, adipokine profile and muscle function in an NAFLD model. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were fed with a high fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks and were separated into three groups treated for 4 weeks with: (1) High fat diet (HFD) (n = 10); (2) HFD + GH 9 μg/g/d (n = 10); (3) HFD + IGF-1 0.02 µg/g/d (n = 9). A control group fed a chow diet was included (n = 6). Liver histology, liver triglycerides content, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity, adiponectin and leptin serum levels, in vivo muscle strength, tetanic force and muscle fibre cross-sectional area (CSA) were measured. Results: HFD + GH and HFD + IGF-1 groups showed significantly lower ALT activity compared to HFD (p < 0.01). Liver triglyceride content in HFD + GH was decreased compared to HFD (p < 0.01). Histologic steatosis score was increased in HFD and HFD + GH group (p < 0.01), whereas HFD + IGF-1 presented no difference compared to the chow group (p = 0.3). HFD + GH group presented lower serum leptin and adiponectin levels compared to HFD. GH and IGF-1 supplementation therapy reverted HFD-induced reduction in muscle strength and CSA (sarcopenia). Conclusions: GH and IGF-1 supplementation induced significant improvement in liver steatosis, aminotransferases and sarcopenia in a diet-induced NAFLD model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes of Cerebral and/or Peripheral Adenosine A1 Receptor and IGF-I Concentrations under Extended Sleep Duration in Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112439 - 17 Nov 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Extended sleep improves sustained attention and reduces sleep pressure in humans. Downregulation of adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) and modulation of the neurotrophic factor insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-I) in brain structures controlling attentional capacities could be involved. In the frontal cortex [...] Read more.
Extended sleep improves sustained attention and reduces sleep pressure in humans. Downregulation of adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) and modulation of the neurotrophic factor insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-I) in brain structures controlling attentional capacities could be involved. In the frontal cortex and hippocampus of rats, we measured adenosine A1R and IGF-I protein concentrations after photoperiod-induced sleep extension. Two groups of twelve rats were adapted over 14 days to a habitual (CON) 12:12 light–dark (LD) schedule and an extended (EXT) 16:8 LD schedule. IGF-I content was also measured in plasma, liver, and skeletal muscle. In EXT, compared to CON rats, A1R content in the frontal cortex was significantly lower (p < 0.05), while IGF-I content was higher (p < 0.001), and no significant change was observed in the hippocampus. IGF-I content in plasma and muscle was higher (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01), while it was lower in liver (p < 0.001). The absolute weight and weight gain were higher in EXT rats (p < 0.01). These data suggest that 14 days under a 16:8 LD photoperiod respectively down- and upregulated cortical A1R and IGF-I levels. This photoperiod induced an anabolic profile with increased weight gain and circulating and muscular IGF-I levels. An extension of sleep duration might favor cerebral and peripheral anabolism, which may help attentional and physical capacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Receptors for Insulin-Like Growth Factor-2 and Androgens as Therapeutic Targets in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112305 - 02 Nov 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) occurs in 10–15% of all breast cancer patients, yet it accounts for about half of all breast cancer deaths. There is an urgent need to identify new antitumor targets to provide additional treatment options for patients afflicted with this [...] Read more.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) occurs in 10–15% of all breast cancer patients, yet it accounts for about half of all breast cancer deaths. There is an urgent need to identify new antitumor targets to provide additional treatment options for patients afflicted with this aggressive disease. Preclinical evidence suggests a critical role for insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF2) and androgen receptor (AR) in regulating TNBC progression. To advance this work, a panel of TNBC cell lines was investigated with all cell lines showing significant expression of IGF2. Treatment with IGF2 stimulated cell proliferation in vitro (p < 0.05). Importantly, combination treatments with IGF1R inhibitors BMS-754807 and NVP-AEW541 elicited significant inhibition of TNBC cell proliferation (p < 0.001). Based on Annexin-V binding assays, BMS-754807, NVP-AEW541 and enzalutamide induced TNBC cell death (p < 0.005). Additionally, combination of enzalutamide with BMS-754807 or NVP-AEW541 exerted significant reductions in TNBC proliferation even in cells with low AR expression (p < 0.001). Notably, NVP-AEW541 and BMS-754807 reduced AR levels in BT549 TNBC cells. These results provide evidence that IGF2 promotes TNBC cell viability and proliferation, while inhibition of IGF1R/IR and AR pathways contribute to blockade of TNBC proliferation and promotion of apoptosis in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF) System in Liver Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051308 - 27 Apr 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Hepatocyte differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis are affected by growth factors produced in liver. Insulin-like growth factor 1 and 2 (IGF1 and IGF2) act in response to growth hormone (GH). Other IGF family components include at least six binding proteins (IGFBP1 to 6), manifested [...] Read more.
Hepatocyte differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis are affected by growth factors produced in liver. Insulin-like growth factor 1 and 2 (IGF1 and IGF2) act in response to growth hormone (GH). Other IGF family components include at least six binding proteins (IGFBP1 to 6), manifested by both IGFs develop due to interaction through the type 1 receptor (IGF1R). The data based on animal models and/or in vitro studies suggest the role of IGF system components in cellular aspects of hepatocarcinogenesis (cell cycle progression, uncontrolled proliferation, cell survival, migration, inhibition of apoptosis, protein synthesis and cell growth), and show that systemic IGF1 administration can reduce fibrosis and ameliorate general liver function. In epidemiologic and clinicopathological studies on chronic liver disease (CLD), lowered serum levels, decreased tissue expression of IGF1, elevated production of IGF1R and variable IGF2 expression has been noted, from the start of preneoplastic alterations up to the developed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) stage. These changes result in well-known clinical symptoms of IGF1 deficiency. This review summarized the current data of the complex role of IGF system components in the most common CLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma). Better recognition and understanding of this system can contribute to discovery of new and improved versions of current preventive and therapeutic actions in CLD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Mecasermin in Insulin Receptor-Related Severe Insulin Resistance Syndromes: Case Report and Review of the Literature
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051268 - 24 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Mutations in the insulin receptor (INSR) gene underlie rare severe INSR-related insulin resistance syndromes (SIR), including insulin resistance type A, Rabson–Mendenhall syndrome and Donohue syndrome (DS), with DS representing the most severe form of insulin resistance. Treatment of these cases is challenging, with [...] Read more.
Mutations in the insulin receptor (INSR) gene underlie rare severe INSR-related insulin resistance syndromes (SIR), including insulin resistance type A, Rabson–Mendenhall syndrome and Donohue syndrome (DS), with DS representing the most severe form of insulin resistance. Treatment of these cases is challenging, with the majority of DS patients dying within the first two years of life. rhIGF-I (mecasermin) has been reported to improve metabolic control and increase lifespan in DS patients. A case report and literature review were completed. We present a case involving a male patient with DS, harbouring a homozygous mutation in the INSR gene (c.591delC). Initial rhIGF-I application via BID (twice daily) injection was unsatisfactory, but continuous subcutaneous rhIGF-I infusion via an insulin pump improved weight development and diabetes control (HbA1c decreased from 10 to 7.6%). However, our patient died at 22 months of age during the course of a respiratory infection in in Libya. Currently available data in the literature comprising more than 30 treated patients worldwide seem to support a trial of rhIGF-I in SIR. rhIGF-I represents a treatment option for challenging SIR cases, but careful consideration of the therapeutic benefits and the burden of the disease is warranted. Continuous application via pump might be advantageous compared to single injections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Neurotrophic and Neuroregenerative Effects of GH/IGF1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112441 - 17 Nov 2017
Cited by 21
Abstract
Introduction. Human neurodegenerative diseases increase progressively with age and present a high social and economic burden. Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are both growth factors exerting trophic effects on neuronal regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous [...] Read more.
Introduction. Human neurodegenerative diseases increase progressively with age and present a high social and economic burden. Growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) are both growth factors exerting trophic effects on neuronal regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). GH and IGF-1 stimulate protein synthesis in neurons, glia, oligodendrocytes, and Schwann cells, and favor neuronal survival, inhibiting apoptosis. This study aims to evaluate the effect of GH and IGF-1 on neurons, and their possible therapeutic clinical applications on neuron regeneration in human subjects. Methods. In the literature, we searched the clinical trials and followed up studies in humans, which have evaluated the effect of GH/IGF-1 on CNS and PNS. The following keywords have been used: “GH/IGF-1” associated with “neuroregeneration”, “amyotrophic lateral sclerosis”, “Alzheimer disease”, “Parkinson’s disease”, “brain”, and “neuron”. Results. Of the retrieved articles, we found nine articles about the effect of GH in healthy patients who suffered from traumatic brain injury (TBI), and six studies (four using IGF-1 and two GH therapy) in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The administration of GH in patients after TBI showed a significantly positive recovery of brain and mental function. Treatment with GH and IGF-1 therapy in ALS produced contradictory results. Conclusions. Although strong findings have shown the positive effects of GH/IGF-1 administration on neuroregeneration in animal models, a very limited number of clinical studies have been conducted in humans. GH/IGF-1 therapy had different effects in patients with TBI, evidencing a high recovery of neurons and clinical outcome, while in ALS patients, the results are contradictory. More complex clinical protocols are necessary to evaluate the effect of GH/IGF-1 efficacy in neurodegenerative diseases. It seems evident that GH and IGF-1 therapy favors the optimal recovery of neurons when a consistent residual activity is still present. Furthermore, the effect of GH/IGF-1 could be mediated by, or be overlapped with that of other hormones, such as estradiol and testosterone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
A Functional Interplay between IGF-1 and Adiponectin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102145 - 14 Oct 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
A functional relationship is suggested between two well-known protein hormones, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and adiponectin. In the last two decades in fact, different experimental evidence has indicated a non-random link between them. Here, we describe briefly the IGF-1 and adiponectin systems, [...] Read more.
A functional relationship is suggested between two well-known protein hormones, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and adiponectin. In the last two decades in fact, different experimental evidence has indicated a non-random link between them. Here, we describe briefly the IGF-1 and adiponectin systems, and we then focus on their putative interplay in relation to several pathological conditions, including obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Although the existing studies are hardly comparable, they definitely indicate a functional connection between these two protein hormones. In conclusion, the current knowledge strongly encourages further research into the common, as well as novel, mechanisms through which IGF-1 and adiponectin exert their concerted action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Insulin-Like Growth Factors in the Pathogenesis of Neurological Diseases in Children
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2056; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102056 - 26 Sep 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Insulin-like growth factors play a key role for neuronal growth, differentiation, the survival of neurons and synaptic formation. The action of IGF-1 is most pronounced in the developing brain. In this paper we will try to give an answer to the following questions: [...] Read more.
Insulin-like growth factors play a key role for neuronal growth, differentiation, the survival of neurons and synaptic formation. The action of IGF-1 is most pronounced in the developing brain. In this paper we will try to give an answer to the following questions: Why are studies in children important? What clinical studies in neonatal asphyxia, infantile spasms, progressive encephalopathy–hypsarrhythmia–optical atrophy (PEHO) syndrome, infantile ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL), autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and subacute sclerosing encephalopathy (SSPE) have been carried out? What are IGF-based therapeutic strategies? What are the therapeutic approaches? We conclude that there are now great hopes for the therapeutic use of IGF-1 for some neurological disorders (particularly ASD). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
Open AccessReview
Glycans as Regulatory Elements of the Insulin/IGF System: Impact in Cancer Progression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1921; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091921 - 07 Sep 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
The insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system in mammals comprises a dynamic network of proteins that modulate several biological processes such as development, cell growth, metabolism, and aging. Dysregulation of the insulin/IGF system has major implications for several pathological conditions such as diabetes and [...] Read more.
The insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system in mammals comprises a dynamic network of proteins that modulate several biological processes such as development, cell growth, metabolism, and aging. Dysregulation of the insulin/IGF system has major implications for several pathological conditions such as diabetes and cancer. Metabolic changes also culminate in aberrant glycosylation, which has been highlighted as a hallmark of cancer. Changes in glycosylation regulate every pathophysiological step of cancer progression including tumour cell-cell dissociation, cell migration, cell signaling and metastasis. This review discusses how the insulin/IGF system integrates with glycosylation alterations and impacts on cell behaviour, metabolism and drug resistance in cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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Inflammatory Diseases and Growth: Effects on the GH–IGF Axis and on Growth Plate
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18091878 - 31 Aug 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
This review briefly describes the most common chronic inflammatory diseases in childhood, such as cystic fibrosis (CF), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) that can be considered, as such, for the changes reported in the placenta [...] Read more.
This review briefly describes the most common chronic inflammatory diseases in childhood, such as cystic fibrosis (CF), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) that can be considered, as such, for the changes reported in the placenta and cord blood of these subjects. Changes in growth hormone (GH) secretion, GH resistance, and changes in the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system are described mainly in relationship with the increase in nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Changes in the growth plate are also reported as well as a potential role for microRNAs (miRNAs) and thus epigenetic changes in chronic inflammation. Many mechanisms leading to growth failure are currently known; however, it is clear that further research in the field is still warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IGFs in Health and Disease)
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