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Research Article

Genetic and environmental components of interindividual variation in circulating levels of IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-1, and IGFBP-3.

M Harrela, H Koistinen, J Kaprio, M Lehtovirta, J Tuomilehto, J Eriksson, L Toivanen, M Koskenvuo, P Leinonen, R Koistinen and M Seppälä

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.

Published December 1, 1996

We assessed the magnitude of the genetic component in the variation of circulating levels of insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I and IGF-II), and their binding proteins IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 by measuring their serum concentrations in 32 monozygotic and 47 dizygotic adult twin pairs of the same sex. The intrapair correlation for the IGF-I levels was r = 0.41 (P < 0.009) for monozygotic twins and r = 0.12 (P < 0.22) for dizygotic twins. For the IGF-II concentration the intrapair correlations were r = 0.66 (P < 0.0001) for the monozygotic and r = 0.34 (P < 0.01) for the dizygotic twins. No significant intrapair correlation was found for IGFBP-1 levels in either group. The correlations for IGFBP-3 concentration were r = 0.65 (P < 0.0001) and r = 0.23 (P < 0.06) for monozygotic and dizygotic twins, respectively. Women had higher IGF-II levels than men (635+/-175 vs. 522+/-144 microg/liter; P < 0.0001) and IGFBP-3 levels were also higher in women compared with men (5441+/-1018 vs. 4496+/-1084 microg/liter; P < 0.001). The proportion of variance attributable to genetic effects was 38% for the IGF-I concentration, 66% for the IGF-II concentration, and 60% for the IGFBP-3 concentration. No significant heritability was found for the IGFBP-1 concentrations. Our results show that, in adults, there is a substantial genetic contribution responsible for interindividual variation of the circulating levels of IGF-I, IGF-II, and IGFBP-3, but not for the IGFBP-1 levels.