IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ameliorates alterations in protein synthesis, eIF4E availability, and myostatin in alcohol-fed rats

Charles H. Lang, Robert A. Frost, Elisabeth Svanberg, Thomas C. Vary

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90 Scopus citations


Chronic alcohol consumption decreases the concentration of the anabolic hormone IGF-I, and this change is associated with impaired muscle protein synthesis. The present study evaluated the ability of IGF-I complexed with IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-3 to modulate the alcohol-induced inhibition of muscle protein synthesis in gastrocnemius. After 16 wk on an alcohol-containing diet, either the IGF-I/IGFBP-3 binary complex (BC) or saline was injected two times daily for three consecutive days. After the final injection of BC (3 h), plasma IGF-I concentrations were elevated in alcohol-fed rats to values not different from those of similarly treated control animals. Alcohol feeding decreased the basal rate of muscle protein synthesis by limiting translational efficiency. BC treatment of alcohol-fed rats increased protein synthesis back to basal control values, but the rate remained lower than that of BC-injected control rats. The BC partially reversed the alcohol-induced decrease in the binding of eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF)4E with eIF4G. This change was associated with reversal of the alcohol-induced dephosphorylation of eIF4G but was independent of changes in the phosphorylation of either 4E-BP1 or eIF4E. However, BC reversed the alcohol-induced increase in IGFBP-1 and muscle myostatin, known negative regulators of IGF-I action and muscle mass. Hence, exogenous IGF-I, administered as part of a BC to increase its circulating half-life, can in part reverse the decreased protein synthesis observed in muscle from chronic alcohol-fed rats by stimulating selected components of translation initiation. The data support the role of IGF-I as a mediator of chronic alcohol myopathy in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E916-E926
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6 49-6
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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