Expression of insulin-like growth factor receptors I and II in normal human lung and in lung cancer

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1993;119(11):665-8. doi: 10.1007/BF01215985.


Insulin-like growth factors are potent mitogenic factors in human lung cancer in vitro, acting via specific receptors. Using monoclonal antibodies we demonstrate the expression of insulin-like growth factor receptor I in bronchial epithelial cells of normal lung and in primary lung cancer (22/24 cases), being most prominent in squamous cell carcinoma. Electron microscopy on lung cancer cell lines reveals a distinct reaction pattern on the plasma membrane. Immunoreaction with a specific antibody directed against the insulin-like growth factor receptor II suggests a weak expression in primary lung cancer. Our findings underline the significance of the autocrine pathway of insulin-like growth factors in lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemistry
  • Bronchi / chemistry*
  • Bronchi / cytology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / ultrastructure
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Lung Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / analysis*
  • Receptor, IGF Type 2 / analysis*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / chemistry
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / ultrastructure


  • Receptor, IGF Type 2
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1