Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 inhibits growth of experimental colocarcinoma

Surgery. 2004 Aug;136(2):205-9. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2004.04.020.


Background: We have previously shown that an important cell growth regulatory protein, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) is depleted in peripheral blood after open--but not laparoscopic--surgery. We have also demonstrated that IGFBP-3 induces apoptosis of human colon cancer cells in vitro. We report here the effect of IGFBP-3 on the growth of colonic epithelial cells in vivo.

Methods: Two tumor models were used: chemically induced carcinogenesis with azoxymethane (AOM) and inoculation of syngeneic colon cancer cells. In AOM-induced carcinogenesis, wild type (WT) and IGFBP-3 transgenic (IGFBP-3-TG) CD1 mice were injected with AOM and the number of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in the colon studied. In the syngeneic model, BALB/c mice were inoculated with CT26 cells. The control group received saline, while the test group was administered IGFBP-3 weekly. Tumor weight was assessed 2.5 weeks after establishment.

Results: The number of aberrant crypt foci was significantly lower in IGFBP-3 transgenic mice (1.3 +/- 1.1) compared to WT controls (6.8 +/- 6.0) (P < .001). Further, CT26 tumors were significantly smaller in BALB/c mice that received IGFBP-3 (0.364 +/- 0.165 g) than in WT controls (0.742 +/- 0.261 g) (P < .01).

Conclusions: IGFBP-3 inhibits the development of colonic tumors in experimental models and may hold promise as an adjuvant therapy for patients with neoplasms.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Recombinant Proteins