Immunohistochemical localization of insulin-like growth factor 1 and 2 in the endocrine pancreas of rat, dog, and man, and their coexistence with classical islet hormones

Cell Tissue Res. 1993 Aug;273(2):249-59. doi: 10.1007/BF00312826.


Immunohistochemical techniques were used to study the occurrence and distribution of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and IGF-2 in the pancreas of man, dog, and rat and their possible coexistence with insulin (INS), glucagon (GLUC), somatostatin (SOM) and pancreatic polypeptide (PP). All control experiments, including pre-absorption of the antisera with synthetic peptide hormones, indicated the specificity of the immunoreactions obtained. In all species investigated, IGF-2-immunoreactivity occurred exclusively in INS-immunoreactive cells as was found by the use of consecutive sections and double immunofluorescence on identical sections. In contrast, IGF-1-immunoreactivity co-existed with GLUC-immunoreactivity. In man, singular SOM-immunoreactive cells also contained IGF-1-immunoreactivity. Thus, IGF-1 and IGF-2 can be localized by means of immunohistochemistry in the mammalian pancreas, and can be shown to occur in different islet cell populations. It is presumed that IGF-1 derived from A-cells and/or D-cells acts on the B-cells in a paracrine manner. The co-existence of IGF-2-immunoreactivity and INS-immunoreactivity in the human, rat, and dog endocrine pancreas indicates that mammalian IGF-2 and INS genes are regulated simultaneously.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / metabolism*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Polypeptide / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Somatostatin / metabolism
  • Species Specificity


  • Insulin
  • Somatostatin
  • Pancreatic Polypeptide
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II
  • Glucagon