Growth and development of the spleen involves the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-I IGF-I) axis. To evaluate the molecular mechanism of these effects we studied the effect of hypophysectomy (Hx) and GH replacement therapy on the expression of IGF-I, the IGF-I receptor and IGF-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) in juvenile rats. Hx resulted in a 30% reduction in body weight. GH replacement therapy for seven days partially prevented these effects. IGF-I mRNA levels were reduced 30% by Hx, IGFBP-2 mRNA levels fell 50% whereas IGF-I receptor mRNA levels were unaffected. GH therapy prevented the reduction in IGF-I and IGFBP-2 mRNA levels. These results suggest that the GH effect on splenic growth and development is via local (paracrine) IGF-I expression, in addition to any effect by circulating (endocrine) IGF-I.
- Gene expression
- Growth hormone