Determination of true IGF-I bioactivity in serum and other biological fluids is still a substantial challenge. The IGF-IR Kinase Receptor Activation assay (IGF-IR KIRA assay) is a novel tool to asses IGF-IR stimulating activity (IRSA) and has opened a new era in studying the IGF system. In this paper we discuss many studies showing that measuring IRSA by the IGF-IR KIRA assay often provides fundamentally different information about the IGF system than the commonly used total IGF-I immunoassays. With the IGF-IR KIRA assay phosphorylation of tyrosine residues of the IGF-IR is used as read out to quantify IRSA in unknown (serum) samples. The IGF-IR KIRA assay gives information about net overall effects of circulating IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBPs and IGFBP-proteases on IGF-IR activation and seems especially superior to immunoreactive total IGF-I in monitoring therapeutic interventions. Although the IRSA as measured by the IGF-IR KIRA assay probably more closely reflects true bioactive IGF-I than measurements of total IGF-I in serum, the IGF-IR KIRA assay in its current form does not give information about all the post-receptor intracellular events mediated by the IGF-IR. Interestingly, in several conditions in health and disease IRSA measured by the IGF-IR KIRA assay is considerably higher in interstitial fluid and ascites than in serum. This suggests that both the paracrine (local) and endocrine (circulating) IRSA should be measured to get a complete picture about the role of the IGF system in health and disease.

IGF-I, IGF-I receptor, IGF-I Bioactivity, KIRA, Immunoassays, Endocrine, Paracrine, Health, Disease,
Manuscript Number: GHIR-D-19-00026R1
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Janssen, J.A.M.J.L, Varewijck, A.J, & Brugts, M.P. (2019). The insulin-like growth factor-I receptor stimulating activity (IRSA) in health and disease. doi:10.1016/j.ghir.2019.08.001