Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 1–9

The IGF system

Review Article


The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system plays essential role in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation and survival and affects nearly every organ system in the body. IGF-I, which has a high structural similarity to insulin, exerts growth-promoting effects, influences glucose metabolism and has neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects, partly because of its cell-proliferative and antiapoptotic properties. Aberrations in the IGF system may associate with various pathological conditions, including cancer. Insulin and its synthetic analogs are known to possess IGF-IR binding affinity, and concern has been raised about their mitogenic potential in humans. The present review summarizes the main aspects of the IGF system biology and the interactions among IGF-I, insulin, insulin analogs and their receptors.


IGF system Cell proliferation Insulin analogs 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Annunziata
    • 1
  • Riccarda Granata
    • 1
  • Ezio Ghigo
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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