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Research Article

Effect of insulinlike growth factor I on DNA and protein synthesis in cultured rat calvaria.

E Canalis

Published October 1980

Insulinlike growth Factor I (IGF I), a growth hormone-dependent peptide or somatomedin, was studied for its effects on bone formation by examining the synthesis of DNA, collagen, and noncollagen protein in cultures of 21-d fetal rat calvaria. IGF I caused a dose-dependent stimulation of the incorporation of [3H]thymidine into DNA at concentrations of 0.1--100 nM; the effect appeared after 6 h, was maximal at 12 h, and was sustained for 96 h. IGF I also increased the bone DNA content, IGF I at 0.1--3 nM had a small stimulatory effect on the incorporation of [3H]proline into collagenase-digestible protein (CDP) whereas 30 nM IGF I caused a two- to threefold increment and had a maximal effect. A smaller effect on the labeling of noncollagen protein (NCP) was also observed. The effect of CDP and NCP appeared and was maximal after 12 h and was sustained for 96 h. IGF I increased the total collagen content of bones. The IGF I stimulatory effect on the incorporation of [3H]thymidine was seen in both the periosteum and periosteum-free calvarium, whereas that on the labeling of CDP was seen only in the central, osteoblastic-rich, non-periosteal bone. Histological sections showed a 10-fold increase in the mitotic index after Colcemid arrest in IGF I-treated bones, the mitoses were equally distributed in the periosteum and central portions of the calvarium. Insulin had a stimulatory effect on the incorporation of [3H]proline into CDP and NCP and 1 nM--1 microM similar to the effect of IGF I. In contrast, high insulin concentrations (0.1 and 1 microM) were required to increase the incorporation of [3H]thymidine, and insulin did not affect DNA content. Cortisol decreased the stimulatory effect of IGF I on DNA labeling but greatly enhanced the stimulatory effect of IGF I on the incorporation of [3H]proline into CDP. Triiodothyronine and parathyroid hormone increased the incorporation of [3H]thymidine and were additive to IGF I. Triiodothyronine did not affect the labeling of CDP, but parathyroid hormone inhibited it and opposed the effect of IGF I. These studies indicate that IGF I stimulates bone DNA, collagen, and NCP synthesis in vitro. IGF I and insulin have similar effects on bone collagen synthesis but IGF I stimulates the synthesis of DNA at physiological concentrations, and insulin does not.

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