Insulin-like growth factors, insulin-like growth factor binding proteins and ovarian androgen production

Horm Res. 1994;42(1-2):49-54. doi: 10.1159/000184145.


Increasing evidence indicates that the ovary contains an insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system complete with ligands, binding proteins, and receptors. Through their interaction with IGF receptors on theca-interstitial cell surface membranes, the ligands, IGF-I and IGF-II, synergize with luteinizing hormone (LH) to increase ovarian androgen production. The actions of these growth factors are modulated by intraovarian binding proteins, especially IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-3, that enhance or inhibit the biological actions of the IGFs. These observations suggest that the IGF system plays a role in normal ovarian function and in the pathophysiology of ovarian hyperandrogenism and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / biosynthesis*
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • Ovary / metabolism*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / etiology
  • Somatomedins / physiology*


  • Androgens
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • Somatomedins