Expression of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), their receptors and IGF binding protein-3 in normal, benign and malignant smooth muscle tissues

Abstract

To assess the role of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in growth and transformation of normal (myometrium) and tumorous smooth muscle cell (SMC) tissues, in situ hybridization (ISH) analysis for insulin-like growth factor I and II (IGF-I and IGF-II) mRNAs was combined with detection of IGF peptides, their receptors and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3). mRNAs for both IGFs were detected in smooth muscle cells in normal, benign and malignant SMC tissues, together with the IGF peptides, both IGF receptors and IGFBP-3. This suggests an autocrine role for both IGFs. Leiomyomas had higher IGF-I peptide levels and higher levels of type I IGF receptors than myometrium, supporting the idea that IGFs play a role in the growth and transformation of these tumours. Low-grade leiomyosarcomas contained more IGF-II mRNAs than myometrium and leiomyoma, fewer type II IGF/mannose 6-phosphate receptors and less IGFBP-3 than myometrium and, in addition, fewer IGF-I mRNAs and type I IGF receptors than leiomyoma. Intermediate- and high-grade leiomyosarcomas had intermediate levels of IGF-II mRNAs and peptide, ranging between those in myometrium and low-grade leiomyosarcomas. Thus, growth and transformation of leiomyosarcomas may be regulated by IGF-II, although more markedly in low-grade than in high-grade leiomyosarcomas. In conclusion, the various categories of SMC tissues are associated with a distinct expression pattern of the IGF system. This suggests that each category of SMC tumours arises as a distinct entity and that there is no progression of transformation in these tissues.

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Van der Ven, L., Roholl, P., Gloudemans, T. et al. Expression of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), their receptors and IGF binding protein-3 in normal, benign and malignant smooth muscle tissues. Br J Cancer 75, 1631–1640 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.1997.278

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