Metabolic actions of insulin-like growth factor-I in normal physiology and diabetes

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2012 Jun;41(2):425-43, vii-viii. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2012.04.017.


Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is closely related to insulin but has distinct metabolic actions. IGF-I is an important stimulant of protein synthesis in muscle, but it also stimulates free fatty acid use. The administration of IGF-I to patients with extreme insulin resistance results in improvement in glycemic control, and IGF-I is associated with lowering glucose and enhancing insulin sensitivity in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. However, patients with diabetes are also sensitive to stimulation of side effects in response to IGF-I. IGF-I coordinately links growth hormone and insulin actions and has direct effects on intermediary metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / genetics
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Rats
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I