IGF-binding protein-2 protects against the development of obesity and insulin resistance

Stephen B. Wheatcroft, Mark T. Kearney*, Ajay M. Shah, Vivienne A. Ezzat, John R. Miell, Michael Modo, Stephen C. R. Williams, Will P. Cawthorn, Gema Medina-Gomez, Antonio Vidal-Puig, Jaswinder K. Sethi, Paul A. Crossey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Proliferation of adipocyte precursors and their differentiation into mature adipocytes contributes to the development of obesity in mammals. IGF-I is a potent mitogen and important stimulus for adipocyte differentiation. The biological actions of IGFs are closely regulated by a family of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs), which exert predominantly inhibitory effects. IGFBP-2 is the principal binding protein secreted by differentiating white preadipocytes, suggesting a potential role in the development of obesity. We have generated transgenic mice overexpressing human IGFBP-2 under the control of its native promoter, and we show that overexpression of IGFBP-2 is associated with reduced susceptibility to obesity and improved insulin sensitivity. Whereas wild-type littermates developed glucose intolerance and increased blood pressure with aging, mice overexpressing IGFBP-2 were protected. Furthermore, when fed a high-fat/high-energy diet, IGFBP-2-overexpressing mice were resistant to the development of obesity and insulin resistance. This lean phenotype was associated with decreased leptin levels, increased glucose sensitivity, and lower blood pressure compared with wildtype animals consuming similar amounts of high-fat diet. Our in vitro data suggest a direct effect of IGFBP-2 preventing adipogenesis as indicated by the ability of recombinant IGFBP-2 to impair 3T3-L1 differentiation. These findings suggest an important, novel role for IGFBP-2 in obesity prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • TYPE-1


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