A 1 week IGF-1 infusion decreases arterial insulin concentrations but increases pancreatic insulin content and islet vascularity in fetal sheep

Alicia White, Samantha Louey, Eileen I. Chang, Brit H. Boehmer, David Goldstrohm, Sonnet Jonker, Paul J. Rozance

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Fetal insulin is critical for regulation of growth. Insulin concentrations are partly determined by the amount of β-cells present and their insulin content. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a fetal anabolic growth factor which also impacts β-cell mass in models of β-cell injury and diabetes. The extent to which circulating concentrations of IGF-1 impact fetal β-cell mass and pancreatic insulin content is unknown. We hypothesized that an infusion of an IGF-1 analog for 1 week into the late gestation fetal sheep circulation would increase β-cell mass, pancreatic islet size, and pancreatic insulin content. After the 1-week infusion, pancreatic insulin concentrations were 80% higher than control fetuses (P < 0.05), but there were no differences in β-cell area, β-cell mass, or pancreatic vascularity. However, pancreatic islet vascularity was 15% higher in IGF-1 fetuses and pancreatic VEGFA, HGF, IGF1, and IGF2 mRNA expressions were 70–90% higher in IGF-1 fetuses compared to control fetuses (P < 0.05). Plasma oxygen, glucose, and insulin concentrations were 25%, 22%, and 84% lower in IGF-1 fetuses, respectively (P < 0.05). The previously described role for IGF-1 as a β-cell growth factor may be more relevant for local paracrine signaling in the pancreas compared to circulating endocrine signaling.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbere13840
    JournalPhysiological Reports
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018



    • Beta-cell
    • fetus
    • insulin
    • insulin-like growth factor
    • islet

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physiology
    • Physiology (medical)

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