Role of insulin-like growth factor-I in the regulation of skeletal muscle adaptation to increased loading

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 1998;26:31-60.


Adaptations in muscle mass stimulated by changes in muscle loading state entail alternations in the synthesis and degradation of myofiber proteins and the modulation of myonuclear number such that the ratio between the number of myonuclei and the size of the myofibers remains relatively constant. As depicted schematically in Figure 2.6, the literature regarding the role of IGF-in mediating muscle adaptation to alterations in loading state suggests the following conclusions: During periods of increased loading, myofibers upregulate the expression and secretion of IGF-I. Acting as an autocrine and/or paracrine growth factor, IGF-I stimulates myofiber anabolic processes. Acting as a paracrine growth factor, IGF-I also stimulates adjacent satellite cells to enter the cell cycle and proliferate. Continued myofiber production of IGF-I stimulates some satellite cells to differentiate and then fuse with myofibers, thus providing additional myonuclei in order to maintain or reestablish the myonucleus to myofiber size ratios of the enlarged myofibers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*


  • Blood Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I