CONTEXT: Low serum IGF-1 levels have been linked to increased risk for development of type 2 diabetes. However, the physiological role of IGF-1 in glucose metabolism is not well characterized. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to explore glucose and lipid metabolism associated with variations in serum IGF-1 levels. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: IGF-1 levels were measured in healthy, nonobese male volunteers aged 18 to 50 years from a biobank (n = 275) to select 24 subjects (age 34.8 ± 8.9 years), 12 each in the lowest (low-IGF) and highest (high-IGF) quartiles of age-specific IGF-1 SD scores. Evaluations were undertaken after a 24-hour fast and included glucose and glycerol turnover rates using tracers, iv glucose tolerance test to estimate peripheral insulin sensitivity (IS) and acute insulin and C-peptide responses (indices of insulin secretion), magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure intramyocellular lipids (IMCLs), calorimetry, and gene expression studies in a muscle biopsy. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Acute insulin and C-peptide responses, IS, and glucose and glycerol rate of appearance (Ra) were evaluated. RESULTS: Fasting insulin and C-peptide levels and glucose Ra were reduced (all P < .05) in low-IGF compared with high-IGF subjects, indicating increased hepatic IS. Acute insulin and C-peptide responses were lower (both P < .05), but similar peripheral IS resulted in reduced insulin secretion adjusted for IS in low-IGF subjects (P = 0.044). Low-IGF subjects had higher overnight levels of free fatty acids (P = .028) and β-hydroxybutyrate (P = .014), increased accumulation of IMCLs in tibialis anterior muscle (P = .008), and a tendency for elevated fat oxidation rates (P = .058); however, glycerol Ra values were similar. Gene expression of the fatty acid metabolism pathway (P = .0014) was upregulated, whereas the GLUT1 gene was downregulated (P = .005) in the skeletal muscle in low-IGF subjects. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that serum IGF-1 levels could be an important marker of β-cell function and glucose as well as lipid metabolic responses during fasting.
Endocrinology, 2014, Vol 99, Issue 6, p. 2198-2207