Symposium on the Assessment of the Growth Hormone/IGF-I Axis in Aging


, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 77-80

First online:

Effects of age and estrogen status on the skeletal IGF regulatory system

Studies with human marrow
  • Clifford J. RosenAffiliated withSt. Joseph’s Hospital
  • , Donald VeraultAffiliated withSt. Joseph’s Hospital
  • , Christopher SteffensAffiliated withSt. Joseph’s Hospital
  • , Domingo CheleuitteAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • , Julie GlowackiAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

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Human marrow was obtained as material discarded during total hip replacement and was established in culture with phenol red-free α-MEM with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and antibiotics. Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and its binding proteins were secreted by human marrow cells, in amounts that increased with time in culture. Western ligand blotting showed that insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) accounted for the majority (∼75%) of the secreted binding proteins. Evidence for marrow secretion of BP-3 protease was found by electrophoretic analysis of mixtures of radiolabeled IGFBP-3 and marrow-conditioned media. The amount of constitutive secretion of IGFBP-3 increased with age of the subject (r=0.97,p=0.0058). A notable exception was marrow from a postmenopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) at the time of surgery; her marrow secreted 89.3 ng/mL after 14 d in vitro, only 38% of the IGFBP-3 that was secreted by cultures from two age-matched peers (208.8 and 285.2 ng/mL). This in vivo effect of estrogen was matched by an in vitro experiment in which 10−8 M 17-β estradiol suppressed IGFBP-3 to 60% of the constitutive level. In all cultures of marrow from postmenopausal women, IL-1β suppressed IGFBP-3 secretion to either undetectable levels or levels between 11% and 35% of control. Thus, human bone marrow cultures demonstrate components of the skeletal IGF regulatory system: IGF-I, IGF-binding proteins, and evidence of IGFBP-3 proteolysis. These results provide evidence of regulation by both systemic (age, estrogen status) and cytokine (IL-1β) factors.

Key Words

IGF aging human marrow in vitro