Actions of IGF binding proteins and related proteins in adipose tissue

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Dec;20(10):499-505. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Oct 2.


The insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), their binding proteins (IGFBPs) and structurally related proteins have been identified in adipose tissue but their roles in adipose tissue are poorly understood. IGF-I and IGFBP-3 expression increase during human preadipocyte differentiation. However, whereas IGF-I stimulates this process, IGFBP-3 is inhibitory both to preadipocyte differentiation and to differentiated adipocyte function. The direct interaction of IGFBP-3 with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma is believed to contribute to its inhibitory effect on differentiation. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) shares weak structural homology and functional similarities with IGFBP-3, including inhibition of preadipocyte differentiation. This review examines the current knowledge of IGFBP regulation and actions in adipocytes and proposes a common regulatory pathway involving IGFBP-3 and CTGF/CCN2.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis / physiology
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Connective Tissue Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • Connective Tissue Growth Factor