Growth-hormone (gh) and insulin-like growth-factor-i (igf-i) treatment of the gh-deficient dwarf rat - differential-effects on igf-i transcription start site expression in hepatic and extrahepatic tissues and lack of effect on type-i igf receptor messenger-rna expression
The rat IGF-I gene consists of six exons, with exons 3 and 4 forming a 'core' mature IGF-I coding region to which alternate 5' and 3' regions are spliced. Transcription occurs from four dispersed start sites (ss) approximately 382 (ss 1), approximately 343 (ss 2), approximately 245 (ss 3) and approximately 30-40 (ss 4) basepairs (bp) from the 3' end of exon 1, and from a region 50-70 bp from the 3' end of exon 2. The expression of ss mRNAs displays tissue-specific and ontogenic regulation. Alternate splicing of exon 5 produces E-peptide coding domain variants (Ea and Eb mRNAs), with the Eb form found predominantly in the liver. The regulation of IGF-I mRNA expression by GH and IGF-I in the GH-deficient dwarf (dw/dw) rat was investigated using antisense RNA probes in a solution hybridization RNase protection assay to detect leader exon and E domain variant mRNAs. GH treatment of dw/dw and normal Lewis rats increased the expression of all liver leader exon ss and E domain variants coordinately (1.6-1.9-fold increase, p < 0.01), although the increase observed in Eb transcripts was significantly higher in the dw/dw compared to the normal rat (p < 0.05). In kidney, GH treatment significantly increased exon 1 ss 3 and ss 4 transcripts by approximately 40% (p < 0.05). The expression of the other start sites was not affected by GH, suggesting that transcription factors may regulate start site usage independently. GH treatment was associated with a significant increase in IGF-I mRNA expression in skeletal muscle (p < 0.05) but not cardiac muscle or spleen. IGF-I treatment was associated with minor (approximately 20%) but significant (p < 0.05) reductions in IGF-I mRNA expression in the liver and kidney of dw/dw rats, suggesting that IGF-I can suppress IGF-I mRNA expression. IGF-I treatment did not affect IGF-I mRNA expression in cardiac and skeletal muscle of dw/dw rats. IGF-I receptor mRNA was detected in extrahepatic tissues only, and was not affected by either GH or IGF-I treatment. In summary, start site-specific regulation by GH was observed in kidney. GH increased IGF-I mRNA expression in muscle, kidney and liver, but had no effect in heart or spleen in the dw/dw rat. Our data suggest that systemic IGF-I can feedback on hepatic and renal IGF-I mRNA expression in the GH-deficient state.