Effect of insulin on the insulin-like growth factor system in children with new-onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Abdullah Bereket, Charles H. Lang, Sandra L. Blethen, Marie C. Gelato, Jie Fan, Robert A. Frost, Thomas A. Wilson

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125 Scopus citations


To further characterize the mechanism of impaired growth in children with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, we examined the serum components of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system in 11 children with new-onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and followed the effect of insulinization on the IGF system longitudinally 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after staring insulin treatment. Before insulin therapy, serum IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), and GH-binding protein (GHBP) levels were significantly decreased, whereas IGFBP-1 and cortisol were significantly increased in diabetic children compared to those in an age-, sex-, and stage of puberty- matched control group. Random serum GH concentrations did not differ significantly. The alterations in the IGF system reversed with insulin therapy in a sequential manner. IGFBP-1 fell rapidly and was comparable to control values within 24 h after insulin treatment. IGF-I rose 1 week after treatment, reaching levels comparable to those in controls and continued to rise through 1 month of treatment. IGF-II, IGFBP-3, and GHBP showed a slower pattern of change, with their levels reaching control values only 1 month after the start of insulin treatment. Improvement in glycemic control, as determined by a change in hemoglobin-A(1c), correlated positively with improvement in IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-3, GHBP, and weight gain after 1 month of insulin therapy. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that changes in the IGF system in the insulinopenic state are similar to those during nutritional deprivation and may serve to minimize IGF's anabolic actions. The decreases in IGF-I, IGF-II, and IGFBP-3 may in part be due to a decrease in the GHBP/receptor. However, the observation that an increase in serum IGF-I was observed earlier than an increase in GHBP and without a significant change in serum GH suggests a direct stimulatory effect of insulin on liver IGF-I production or reversal by insulin of some postreceptor defect in GH action independent of GHBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1312-1317
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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