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We examined the effects of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and insulin on erythropoietin (EPO) production by human hepatoma cells (Hep G2). Compared with normoxia (20% O 2 ), EPO production by Hep G2 cells during a 72-h incubation was stimulated fivefold by exposure to low oxygen tension (1% O 2 ) and nearly threefold by exposure to cobalt chloride (100 μM). IGF-I caused a concentration-dependent attenuation of EPO formation under normoxic conditions and inhibited (maximally 50%) EPO production stimulated by either low oxygen tension or cobalt [half-maximal effect (ED 50 ) ≃ 5 nM]. The increase of EPO mRNA levels in response to hypoxia was significantly reduced by IGF-I. Similarly to IGF-I, IGF-II (ED 50 ≃ 8 nM) and insulin (ED 50 ≃ 80 nM) also inhibited EPO formation in Hep G2 cells. IGF-I (100 pM-100 nM) stimulated the incorporation of radiolabeled alanine as a measure for total protein synthesis, 3 H-labeled thymidine incorporation into DNA, and glycogen synthesis at 20 and 1% O 2 in a concentration-dependent fashion. IGF-I exhibited a high affinity for the IGF-I receptor (apparent K(d) ≃ 3 nM). Unlabeled insulin was >100-fold less potent than IGF-I in competing for 125 I-IGF-I binding (apparent K(d) ≃360 nM). Conversely, insulin bound to the insulin receptor with high affinity (apparent K(d) ≃ 0.3 nM), whereas IGF-I was <1% as potent in competing for 125 I-insulin binding. In summary, IGFs and insulin exert a negative control function on oxygen-regulated EPO production in Hep G2 cells. The inhibitory effect of IGFs and insulin on EPO formation appears to be mediated via the IGF-I receptor.


Journal article


American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology

Publication Date