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Insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth factor receptor in thyroid tissues of patients with Graves' disease.

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Growth factors are frequently involved in the regulation of mitosis and differentiation of several cell types and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is actively involved in the thyroid stimulating hormone-mediated proliferation of thyrocytes. In view of the pivotal role of IGF-1 in thyrocyte proliferation and of the still unsettled role of this growth factor in the pathogenesis of hyperplastic thyroid lesions, we investigated the expression of IGF-1 and of its corresponding receptor, by means of immunohistochemistry, in the surgical specimens obtained from six patients with Graves' disease. Moreover, IGF-1 mRNA expression was analysed in one such case by means of Northern hybridisation. All samples showed consistent intracytoplasmic immunoreactivity for both IGF-1 and IGF-1 receptor; the vast majority of hyperplastic thyrocytes were strongly decorated by the two antibodies used in this study whereas stromal cells displayed IGF-1 immunoreactivity only. IGF-1 mRNA was markedly overexpressed in Graves' disease in comparison with normal thyroid tissues. The results of this study suggest that IGF-1 and IGF-1 receptor may be actively involved in the pathogenesis of Graves' disease; furthermore, IGF-1 and IGF-1 receptor apparently act by different mechanisms (paracrine vs. autocrine) as suggested by their differential expression in epithelial and stromal cells.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Istituto di Anatomia Patologica, Università degli Studi, Bari, Italy.

Publication date: October 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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