Insulin-like Growth Factor-I as a Regulator of Proinflammatory Cytokines and Apoptosis

Project Details


The insulin-like growth factor IGF-I is an important endocrine and paracrine mediator of growth hormone (GH) regulated body growth. Additionally, IGF-I plays a pivotal role as a survival-, proliferation- and differentiation-factor in many different cell types, and is involved in the functioning of several organs. The different effects of IGF-I depend on the cell type and are, at physiological concentrations, all mediated by the IGF-I receptor. This receptor uses different signal transduction pathways, like the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and the phosphatidylinositol kinase (PI3-K) pathway. IGF-I also exerts cell specific effects on the immune system and on hemopoietic cells. Functional receptors are expressed on monocytes and different lymphocyte subsets. Different lymphocyte subsets and developmental stages use alternative signalling pathways which depend on the expression of specific tyrosine kinase substrates.
The main purpose of the project is to get more insight into the mechanism by which IGF-I modulates immune responses. The research to the mechanism by which IGF-I regulates the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines will lead to more insight into how IGF-I can interfere with other factors at the cellular level and how effects of IGF-I depend on the physiological context. The results might explain the differences between in vivo and in vitro effects of IGF-I on proinflammatory cytokines. The results are of importance with respect to considerations to treat patients (severe burns, bone marrow transplantation, AIDS, catabolic state) with IGF-I. Investigation of signal transduction pathways in monocytes and neutrophils will lead to a better idea of how IGF-I can induce different effects in different cell types. In addition, the research to the effects of IGF-I on apoptosis in neutrophils will give more insight into how IGF-I can influence inflammatory reactions via these cells.

Effective start/end date1/01/0231/12/07

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences
  • Biological sciences


  • cytokines
  • apoptosis
  • Leukocytes
  • Insulin-like growth factor-I