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A G P Schuller, J W van Neck, R W Beukenholdt, E C Zwarthoff, and S L S Drop


The IGFs are important mitogens involved in lung growth and development. The regulation of IGF action depends not only on the expression of IGFs and IGF receptors, but also on the modulation of IGF activity by IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs). In this study, we describe the mRNA expression of IGF-I, IGF-II, type I IGF receptor, IGFBP-2, IGFBP-4 and IGFBP-5 during mouse lung development as studied by in situ hybridization techniques. The IGF, type I IGF receptor and IGFBP-2, -4 and -5 genes were expressed in developing lung as early as embryonal day 12·5. Expression of IGFBPs-1, -3 and -6 was below detection. IGF and IGFBP-2 mRNAs were expressed both in mesenchymal and epithelial cells. Type I IGF receptor transcripts were also observed throughout the developing lung, with the exception of the epithelial cells of the bronchi after embryonal day 15. Furthermore, mRNA expression of IGFBPs-4 and -5 was noted in neighbouring cell types, and after embryonal day 15, co-expression of the type I IGF receptor and IGFBP-4 transcripts was detected. The observed expression patterns imply that the IGFBP-2, -4 and -5 genes are differentially regulated during embryonic development and suggest that each may have a discrete function. A possible role for IGFBPs-2, -4 and -5 is to participate in the regulation of cell-specific IGF responses during mouse lung development.

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J W van Neck, A Flyvbjerg, A G P Schuller, R R Rosato, C Groffen, M van Kleffens, D Lindenbergh-Kortleve, I Dørup, and S L S Drop


Dietary potassium (K) depletion is known to reduce body weight gain and organ growth, except for kidney which increases in weight. This renal hypertrophy is preceded by increased renal IGF-I levels. In the present study, we investigated IGF-I and -II, type I IGF receptor and IGF-binding protein (IGFBP) mRNA expression in liver and kidney of K-depleted and normal rats infused with vehicle or recombinant human IGF-I. Body weight gain was almost completely arrested in K-depleted rats without any stimulatory effect of IGF-I infusion. Both absolute and relative kidney weight (kidney weight/body weight) were significantly increased in K-depleted rats and this was further enhanced by IGF-I infusion. In contrast, relative liver weight was comparable in the different groups and unaffected by IGF-I infusion.

IGF-I mRNA expression was significantly lower in kidney and liver of K-depleted animals whereas type I IGF receptor levels were unchanged. In contrast, in kidney, K depletion increased IGFBP-1 and -2 mRNA expression with no additional effect of IGF-I infusion. In liver of K-depleted animals, IGFBP-1 mRNA expression was increased whereas increased IGFBP-1 and -2 mRNA expression was observed when these animals were infused with IGF-I. These observations may point towards a differential mode of action of the IGFBPs. In kidney increased IGFBP-1 and -2 mRNA expression may enhance IGF-I bioavailability with subsequent kidney growth. In liver, with clearly detectable type I IGF receptor mRNA expression, increased IGFBP levels may protect from IGF-I-induced organ growth by decreasing IGF-I bioavailability.