BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Insulin and IGF-I interact at many levels. Little is known about the insulin-like growth factor-I/insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGF-I/IGFBP) system in congenital partial lipodystrophy, a syndrome characterized by insulin resistance, hyperinsulinaemia and absence of truncal and limb fat. Some cases have acromegaloid features with thick skin and large hands and feet in association with normal levels of circulating growth hormone. METHODS: In four females known with congenital partial lipodystrophy, hyperinsulinaemia with acromegaloid features, the number and affinity of the IGF-I receptors on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and the concentration of circulating insulin, total and free IGF-I, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 levels were measured in the fasting and the fed state. Cultures of PBMCs of the patients with lipodystrophy were also used to study the effect of IGF-I stimulation on thymidine uptake in vitro. MEASUREMENTS: In the subjects with lipodystrophy the affinity and the number of the IGF-I receptors on peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and erythrocytes did not differ significantly from controls in the fasting state. Insulin levels were significantly higher in subjects with lipodystrophy both in the fasting as well in the fed state. Total IGF-I, free IGF-I and IGFBP-3 levels did not differ but serum IGFBP-1 levels were lower in lipodystrophy subjects than in healthy controls. The free IGF-I/IGFBP-1 ratio was increased in lipodystrophy subjects both in the fasting and the fed states. The effects of IGF-I stimulation on thymidine uptake by PBMCs of lipodystrophy subjects in the absence of IGFBP-1 were not different from healthy controls cultures in vitro. When a combination of IGFBP-1 (in a concentration comparable to the fasting serum IGFBP-1 levels in lipodystrophy patients found in our study) and IGF-I was added to PBMC cultures from lipodystrophy patients no decrease in thymidine uptake by PBMCs was found. CONCLUSIONS: In the four subjects with lipodystrophy hyperinsulinaemia, lowered free IGF-I and IGFBP-1 levels, but increased free IGF-I/IGBP-1 ratios were observed. Low IGFBP-1 concentrations in culture media did not reduce the stimulating IGF-I effect on thymidine uptake by PBMCs from lipodystrophy patients. Our data suggest that the observed increased IGF-I/IGFBP-1 ratio in lipodystrophy patients contributes to an unopposed biological effect of IGF- I on IGF-I receptors, thereby inducing the development of acromegaloid features, acanthosis nigricans and polycystic ovaries in some patients with congenital partial lipodystrophy.,
Clinical Endocrinology
Department of Pediatrics

Janssen, J.A.M.J.L, Hoogerbrugge, N, van Neck, J.W, Uitterlinden, P, & Lamberts, S.W.J. (1998). The IGF-I/IGFBP system in congenital partial lipodystrophy. Clinical Endocrinology, 49(4), 465–473. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2265.1998.00557.x