Expression and function of IGF-I and insulin receptors in human micro- and macrovascular cells

by Chisalita, Simona I.

Abstract (Summary)

Insulin-like growth factor and insulin are phylogenetically closely related polypeptides and have large structural and biological similarities. Low circulating insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), diabetes as well as insulin resistance have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, but the mechanisms involved are still not clear. Furthermore, little is known about direct effects of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and insulin on human micro- and macrovascular cells.

In these studies we investigated the expression and function of insulin-like growth factor-I receptors (IGF-IR) and insulin receptors (IR) in human micro- and macrovascular endothelial cells and in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells.

Our results showed expression of both IGF-IR and IR in human dermal microvascular (HMVEC), aortic (HAEC) umbilical vein (HUVEC) and coronary artery (HCAEC) endothelial cells as well as in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HASMC). The gene expression of IGF-IR was several times more abundant than that of IR. Ligand binding studies confirmed that the IGF-IR was severalfold more abundant than the IR. It also demonstrated that insulin and glargine interacted with the IGF-IR with thousand- and hundredfold, respectively, less potency than IGF-I itself. The presence of IGF-IR and IR proteins and activation of their ?-subunits was revealed by immunoprecipitation and Western blot analysis in human macrovascular endothelial cells and in coronary artery smooth muscle cells. At physiological concentrations (?10-9 M) IGF-I and insulin activated their cognate receptors. The presence of hybrid IR/IGF-IR was shown through detection of the ?-subunit for IGF-IR and IR on the same membrane by Western blot after immunoprecipitation with specific antibodies against either IGF-IR or IR, implying coprecipitation of the IGF-IR ?-subunit and the IR ?-subunit. The inability of physiological concentrations of insulin to phosphorylate IR ?-subunit immunoprecipitated with IGF-IR antibodies and that IGF-I at physiological concentration activates the IR ?-subunit is another evidence for the presence of the hybrid IR/IGF-IR. At physiological concentrations (?10-9 M) IGF-I stimulated DNA synthesis and glucose incorporation into human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) and DNA synthesis in microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC), but not in human macrovascular endothelial cells (HCAEC or HUVEC). No effect of insulin was found. Although physiological concentrations of insulin (?10-9 M) were able to activate IR, insulin had no biological effects on the vascular cells studied. A possible explanation is that the insulin receptor signalling is too attenuated due to the presence of hybrid IR/IGF-IR and low number of IR expressed in the cells studied. Regarding the safety in the use of glargine, we show that glargine has 10-fold higher affinity for IGF-IR than human insulin. However, the glargine concentrations obtained in vivo during diabetes treatment is too low to affect the IGF-IR.

In conclusions our studies provide experimental evidence that human micro- and macrovascular endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells express both IGF-IR and IR. Our in vitro data suggest that the cells studied are sensitive to IGF-I, but insensitive to insulin and this is due to the preponderance of IGF-IR and presence of hybrid IR/IGF-IR.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Linköpings universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation



Date of Publication:01/01/2008

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.