Aging, atherosclerosis, and IGF-1

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Jun;67(6):626-39. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gls102. Epub 2012 Apr 5.


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is an endocrine and autocrine/paracrine growth factor that circulates at high levels in the plasma and is expressed in most cell types. IGF-1 has major effects on development, cell growth and differentiation, and tissue repair. Recent evidence indicates that IGF-1 reduces atherosclerosis burden and improves features of atherosclerotic plaque stability in animal models. Potential mechanisms for this atheroprotective effect include IGF-1-induced reduction in oxidative stress, cell apoptosis, proinflammatory signaling, and endothelial dysfunction. Aging is associated with increased vascular oxidative stress and vascular disease, suggesting that IGF-1 may exert salutary effects on vascular aging processes. In this review, we will provide a comprehensive update on IGF-1's ability to modulate vascular oxidative stress and to limit atherogenesis and the vascular complications of aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology
  • Longevity / drug effects
  • Longevity / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / drug therapy
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic / metabolism
  • Rats


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I