Insulin-like growth factor binding proteins initiate cell death and extracellular matrix remodeling in the mammary gland

D J Flint, M Boutinaud, E Tonner, C J Wilde, W Hurley, P A Accorsi, A F Kolb, C B A Whitelaw, J Beattie, G J Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We have demonstrated that insulin-like growth factor binding protein-5 (IGFBP-5) production by mammary epithelial cells increases dramatically during forced involution of the mammary gland in rats, mice and pigs. We proposed that growth hormone (GH) increases the survival factor IGF-I, whilst prolactin (PRL) enhances the effects of GH by decreasing the concentration of IGFBP-5, which would otherwise inhibit the actions of IGFs. To demonstrate a causal relationship between IGFBP-5 and cell death, we created transgenic mice expressing IGFBP-5, specifically, in the mammary gland. DNA content in the mammary glands of transgenic mice was decreased as early as day 10 of pregnancy. Mammary cell number and milk synthesis were both decreased by approximately 50% during the first 10 days of lactation. The concentrations of the pro-apoptotic molecule caspase-3 was increased in transgenic animals whilst the concentrations of two pro-survival molecules Bcl-2 and Bcl-x were both decreased. In order to examine whether IGFBP-5 acts by inhibiting the survival effect of IGF-I, we examined IGF receptor- and Akt-phoshorylation and showed that both were inhibited. These studies also indicated that the effects of IGFBP-5 could be mediated in part by IGF-independent effects involving potential interactions with components of the extracellular matrix involved in tissue remodeling, such as components of the plasminogen system, and the matrix metallo-proteinases (MMPs). Mammary development was normalised in transgenic mice by R3-IGF-I, an analogue of IGF-I which binds weakly to IGFBPs, although milk production was only partially restored. In contrast, treatment with prolactin was able to inhibit early involutionary processes in normal mice but was unable to prevent this in mice over-expressing IGFBP-5, although it was able to inhibit activation of MMPs. Thus, IGFBP-5 can simultaneously inhibit IGF action and activate the plasminogen system thereby coordinating cell death and tissue remodeling processes. The ability to separate these properties, using mutant IGFBPs, is currently under investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-82
Number of pages9
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Survival
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 5
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Mammary Glands, Animal
  • Neoplasms
  • Prolactin


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