Recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-I: a therapeutic challenge for diabetes mellitus

E. R. Froesch, M. Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF I) is an endocrine hormone that mediates most of the effects of pituitary growth hormone. Other important regulatory factors of serum IGF I levels are insulin and nutrition. Most of the circulating IGF I is bound to three IGF binding proteins (BP), mostly IGFBP-3, BP-2 and BP-1. IGF I is also produced by many cells in the body where it exerts autocrine and/or paracrine effects. IGF I has a specific receptor on most cells, the so-called type 1 IGF receptor. When IGF I is administered intravenously as a bolus it leads to acute hypoglycaemia in a similar way to insulin and mainly with the insulin receptor. Chronic administration of IGF I to hypophysectomized or diabetic rats leads to prominent anabolic effects and growth. In this manuscript, metabolic and endocrine effects of recombinant IGF I are discussed. Recombinant IGF I therapy increases energy expenditure and lipid oxidation and decreases proteolysis and protein oxidation. These effects occur despite a partial inhibition of insulin and growth hormone secretion. The therapeutic spectrum of recombinant IGF I, consisting of inhibition of catabolism, stimulation of anabolism, decreases of triglyceride and cholesterol levels and a striking increase in insulin sensitivity, renders IGF I a very interesting, powerful tool for insulin-resistant states such as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S179-S185
Issue number2 Supplement
StatePublished - Sep 1994


  • anabolism
  • energy expenditure
  • insulin sensitivity
  • lipid metabolism
  • non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
  • rhIGF I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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