Regulation of cell apoptosis by insulin-like growth factor I

Darryl L. Hadsell, Ghada Abdel-Fattah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Correct temporal and spatial regulation of apoptosis is critical for normal mammary gland development and lactation. Previous work with a strain of transgenic mice that overexpress des(1-3)hIGF-I during pregnancy and lactation suggested that this growth factor inhibits apoptosis. The hypothesis tested within these studies is that overexpression of des(1-3)hIGF-I within the mammary gland inhibits apoptosis and the expression of apoptosis-associated genes that are known to be activated by the transcription factor AP-1. This inhibition of apoptosis was further posited to predispose the tissue to carcinogenesis. TUNEL analysis of mammary tissue from transgenic mice that overexpress des(1-3)hIGF-I under control of the rat whey acidic protein promoter showed only 25% (P < 0.05) of the number of apoptotic cells found in nontransgenic mice at the same stage of lactation. Northern analysis of RNA from these animals showed a 75% (P = 0.08) reduction in c-Jun mRNA abundance. Histological analysis of mammary tissue from nonlactating multiparous WAP-DES mice ranging in age from 13 to 25 months showed a variety of hyperplastic lesions. These lesions aberrantly expressed the transgene. At 23 months of age 50% of the transgenic mice within this study developed adenocarcinomas. These results support the conclusion that inhibition of apoptosis within the mammary gland by IGF-I involves decreased activity of AP-1 and predisposes the tissue to tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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