Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications

Title

Alterations in Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Gene and Protein Expression and Type 1 Insulin-like Growth Factor Receptors in the Brains of Ageing Rats

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1999

Journal Title

Neuroscience

ISSN

0306-4522

Volume

88

Issue

1

First Page

269

Last Page

279

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0306-4522(98)00192-4

PubMed ID

10051206

Abstract

Ageing in mammals is characterized by a decline in plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 that appears to contribute to both structural and functional changes in a number of tissues. Although insulin-like growth factor-1 has been shown to provide trophic support for neurons and administration of insulin-like growth factor-1 to ageing animals reverses some aspects of brain ageing, age-related changes in insulin-like growth factor-1 or type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptors in brain have not been well documented. In this series of studies, insulin-like growth factor-1 messenger RNA and protein concentrations, and type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor levels were analysed in young (three to four- and 10–12-month-old), middle-aged (19–20-month-old) and old (29–32-month-old) Fisher 344× Brown Norway rats. Localization of insulin-like growth factor-1 messenger RNA throughout the lifespan revealed that expression was greatest in arteries, arterioles, and arteriolar anastomoses with greater than 80% of these vessels producing insulin-like growth factor-1 messenger RNA. High levels of expression were also noted in the meninges. No age-related changes were detected by either in situ hybridization or quantitative dot blot analysis of cortical tissue. However, analysis of insulin-like growth factor-1 protein levels in cortex analysed after saline perfusion indicated a 36.5% decrease between 11 and 32 months-of-age (P<0.05). Similarly, analysis of type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor messenger RNA revealed no changes with age but levels of type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptors indicated a substantial decrease with age (31% in hippocampus and 20.8 and 27.3% in cortical layers II/III and V/VI, respectively).

Our results indicate that (i) vasculature and meninges are an important source of insulin-like growth factor-1 for the brain and that expression continues throughout life, (ii) there are no changes in insulin-like growth factor-1 gene expression with age but insulin-like growth factor-1 protein levels decrease suggesting that translational deficiencies or deficits in the transport of insulin-like growth factor-1 through the blood–brain barrier contribute to the decline in brain insulin-like growth factor-1 with age, and (iii) type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor messenger RNA is unchanged with age but type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptors decrease in several brain regions. We conclude that significant perturbations occur in the insulin-like growth factor-1 axis with age. Since other studies suggest that i.c.v. administration of insulin-like growth factor-1 reverses functional and cognitive deficiencies with age, alterations within the insulin-like growth factor-1 axis may be an important contributing factor in brain ageing.

Keywords

Ageing, cerebrovasculature, insulin-like growth factor-1, type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptors, in situ hybridization, messenger RNA