Postnatal growth responses to insulin-like growth factor I in insulin receptor substrate-1-deficient mice

Endocrinology. 1999 Dec;140(12):5478-87. doi: 10.1210/endo.140.12.7219.


Organ weight was compared in adult mice with deletion of one (IRS-1-/+) or both (IRS-1-/-) copies of the insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) gene and IRS-1+/+ littermates. IRS-1-/+ mice showed modest reductions in weight of most organs in proportion to a decrease in body weight. IRS-1-/- mice showed major reductions in weight of heart, liver, and spleen that were directly proportional to a decrease in body weight. In IRS-1-/- mice, kidney and particularly small intestine and brain exhibited proportionately smaller weight reductions, and gastrocnemius muscle showed a proportionately greater weight reduction than the decrease in body weight. Growth deficits in IRS-1-/- mice could reflect impaired actions of multiple hormones or cytokines that activate IRS-1. To assess the requirement for IRS-1 in insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I)-dependent postnatal growth, IRS-1-/+ mice were cross-bred with mice that widely overexpress a human IGF-I transgene (IGF+) to generate IGF+ and wild-type mice on an IRS-1+/+, IRS-1-/+, and IRS-1-/- background. IGF-I overexpression increased body weight and weight of brain, small intestine, kidney, spleen, heart, and gastrocnemius muscle in IRS-1+/+ mice. IGF-I overexpression could not completely reverse the body growth retardation in IRS-1-/- mice. Absolute or partial IRS-1 deficiency impaired IGF-I-induced body overgrowth more in females than in males. In males and females, IGF-I stimulated similar overgrowth of brain regardless of IRS-1 status, and intestine and spleen showed dose dependence on IRS-1 for IGF-I-induced growth. IGF-I-induced growth of gastrocnemius muscle had an absolute requirement for IRS-1. IGF-I-induced growth of kidney and heart was impaired by IRS-1 deficiency only in females. In vivo, therefore, most organs do not require IRS-1 for IGF-I-induced growth and can use alternate signaling molecules to mediate IGF-I action. Other organs, such as gastrocnemius muscle, require IRS-1 for IGF-I-induced growth in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Growth*
  • Heart / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Insulin Receptor Substrate Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology*
  • Intestine, Small / growth & development
  • Kidney / growth & development
  • Liver / growth & development
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Organ Size
  • Phosphoproteins / deficiency*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Spleen / growth & development
  • Weight Loss


  • IRS1 protein, human
  • Insulin Receptor Substrate Proteins
  • Irs1 protein, mouse
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I