Novel roles of local insulin-like growth factor-1 activation in gastric ulcer healing: promotes actin polymerization, cell proliferation, re-epithelialization, and induces cyclooxygenase-2 in a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent manner

Am J Pathol. 2007 Apr;170(4):1219-28. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2007.060745.


The precise role of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 in gastric ulcer healing is unknown. In experimental rat gastric ulcers, we examined expression of IGF-1 mRNA and protein by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunostaining, respectively. In cultured rat gastric epithelial RGM1 cells, we examined effects of exogenous IGF-1 on cell migration, re-epithelialization, and proliferation-essential components of ulcer healing. We also examined whether IGF-1 induces cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 expression and determined the role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways in mediating IGF-1 actions. Gastric ulceration triggered an approximately threefold increase in IGF-1 expression in epithelial cells of the ulcer margins (P < 0.001 versus control), especially in cells re-epithelizing granulation tissue and in mucosa in proximity to the ulcer margin. Treatment of RGM1 cells with IGF-1 caused a dramatic increase in actin polymerization, an eightfold increase in cell migration (P < 0.001), a 195% increase in cell proliferation (P < 0.05), and a sixfold increase in COX-2 expression (P < 0.01). Inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase abolished IGF-1-induced RGM1 cell migration and proliferation, actin polymerization, and COX-2 expression. The up-regulation of IGF-1 in gastric ulcer margin accelerates gastric ulcer healing by promoting cell re-epithelization, proliferation, and COX-2 expression via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / genetics
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gastric Mucosa / cytology
  • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Immunoblotting
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / physiology*
  • Male
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Polymers / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Stomach Ulcer / physiopathology*
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Polymers
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases