Insulin-like growth factors and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins in mammary gland function

Breast Cancer Res. 2002;4(6):231-9. doi: 10.1186/bcr535. Epub 2002 Aug 29.


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-mediated proliferation and survival are essential for normal development in the mammary gland during puberty and pregnancy. IGFs interact with IGF-binding proteins and regulate their function. The present review focuses on the role of IGFs and IGF-binding proteins in the mammary gland and describes how modulation of their actions occurs by association with hormones, other growth factors and the extracellular matrix. The review will also highlight the involvement of the IGF axis in breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Breast / physiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Cell Division
  • Estrogens / pharmacology
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / physiology
  • Somatomedins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Somatomedins / physiology*


  • Estrogens
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • Somatomedins
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases