Human insulin-like growth factor I and II (IGF-I and IGF-II) in concentrations of 1-30 ng/ml, were shown to stimulate ornithine decarboxylase activity and [3H]thymidine incorporation in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Proliferation of these cells was also stimulated by IGF-I and II when added to RPMI 1640 medium, fortified with selenium, hydrocortisone, transferrin, and beta-estradiol. Labeled IGF-I and II bound to SH-SY5Y cells. The cross-reaction pattern of IGF-I, IGF-II, and insulin in competing with the binding of labeled IGF-I and IGF-II, respectively, indicated that SH-SY5Y cells express both type I and type II IGF receptors. Treatment of SH-SY5Y cells for 4 d with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), which resulted in morphological and functional differentiation and growth inhibition, abolished the mitogenic response to both IGF-I and II. Concomitantly, the binding of IGF-II disappeared almost totally, which offers a possible explanation for the reduced biological response to IGF-II after TPA treatment. In contrast, the IGF-I binding in TPA-treated cells was only reduced to approximately 70% of the binding to control cells. It is therefore not excluded that the IGF-I receptor could be uncoupled by TPA, with persistent binding capacity for IGF-I.

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