The role of insulin-like growth factor I components in the regulation of vitamin D

Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006 Apr;7(2):125-32. doi: 10.2174/138920106776597621.


Several factors are known to be involved in the regulation of vitamin D and sunlight and diet are the two sources in humans, but the relative importance of each of them is not well defined. Vitamin D, parathyroid hormone and serum insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) were found to be independent predictors of total bone density. Thus, the growth hormone (GH)/IGF-I is thought to play an important role in the regulation of bone mineral density and the skeleton is second only to the liver as a source of circulating levels of IGF-I. The mechanisms by which IGF-I may influence bone metabolism is not fully understood but they are a predictor of bone mass density and are positively associated with vitamin D concentrations. There is a physiological decline of the GH/IGF axis with ageing. The high affinity IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP-I to 6) have also been involved in IGF-I regulation, and it is important to include the IGF-independent properties, particularly those of IGFBP3 that may be involved in the osteoblastic differentiation observed in human bone marrow stromal cell cultures. These hormones have been shown to up regulate each other. 1,25-(OH) D(3) has been shown to promote the action of IGF-I by increasing IGF-I receptors and IGF-I can also elevate 1,25-(OH) D(3) concentrations by stimulating the hydroxylation of 25-(OH) D(3) in the active 1,25-(OH) D(3) hormone. Both GH and IGF-I significantly increased renal 1alpha-hydroxylase expression and serum 1, 25-(OH) D(3) concentrations. In prostate cells, 1,25-(OH) D(3) is growth inhibitory for many established cell lines and the role of IGFBPs, especially IGFBP-3, can be growth inhibitory or stimulatory and IGFBP-3 expression increases in response to 1,25-(OH) D(3), or its analogs, in established prostate cancer cell lines. Body fat is inversely associated with 25-(OH) D(3) in relation to with anthropometric measures, indicating a specific role of adipose tissue. IGF-I may be involved in both normal and abnormal fetal growth and stimulation of IGF-I synthesis during normal pregnancy may be associated with an increase in GH production by the placenta. Thus, maternal and umbilical cord serum IGF-I and 1,25-(OH) D(3) concentrations are lower in preeclampsia and umbilical cord serum IGF-I, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations are associated with low newborn birth weights.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / physiology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / physiology
  • Vitamin D / biosynthesis*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D / physiology


  • Vitamin D
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1