Physiological concentrations of insulin induce cellular desensitization to the mitogenic effects of insulin-like growth factor I

Cheryl A. Conover, Jay T. Clarkson, Laurie K. Bale

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11 Scopus citations


Insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) are structurally related peptides capable of stimulating a variety of metabolic and mitogenic processes. In this study, we investigated the interaction between these peptides and their receptor-mediated pathways in an untransformed cell line. Cultured bovine fibroblasts specifically bound IGF-I and insulin, and each peptide could stimulate DNA synthesis and cell replication through its own receptor. Preincubation of bovine fibroblasts with concentrations of insulin that did not bind to the IGF-I receptor resulted in complete but reversible cellular desensitization to IGF-I-stimulated mitogenesis. Preincubation with as little as 0.1 nM insulin was sufficient to inhibit subsequent IGF-I action. Various insulin analogs produced desensitization in direct relation to the affinity of the insulin for the insulin receptor. Desensitization required >4 h of cell exposure to insulin and was blocked in the presence of cycloheximide. Neither serum-stimulated mitogenesis nor IGF-I-stimulated glucose uptake were affected by insulin pretreatment. 125I-labeled IGF-I affinity cross-linking experiments indicated that preincubation with insulin did not affect labeling of the 130,000-M(r) α-subunit of the IGF-I receptor, but was associated with the loss of IGF-I- and insulin-inhibitive bands at M(r) = 100,000, 85,000, 58,000, and 34,000. These studies suggest that insulin, via interaction with insulin receptors on bovine fibroblasts, regulates IGF-I action at a step distal to IGF-I receptor binding and are consistent with desensitization occurring at an intracellular step in the mitogenic pathway shared by insulin and IGF-I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1130-1137
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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