The promoting effects of insulin-like growth factor 1 on the biological behaviour of human retinal vascular endothelial cells

Authors: Wang Mengjiao,  Liu Gaoqin,  Xu Jing,  Li Dan,  Lu Peirong

DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.2095-0160.2017.05.007
Published 2017-05-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2017,35(5): 417-422.

Abstract                               [Download PDF] [Read Full Text]


The suppression of retinal angiogenesis is one of primary treatment targets for retinal vascular diseases, so seeking the intervention targets of retinal neovascularization is a hot research.Studies showed that insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) can promote the growth and restrain the apoptosis of vascular endothelial cells.However, whether IGF-1 is an intervention target for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases is unelucidated.


This study was to address the effects of IGF-1 on the migration, apoptosis and capillary tube formation of human retinal vascular endothelial cells (HRECs) and mechanism.


HRECs were cultured in vitro, and the cells in the exponential phase were prepared for subsequent experiments.The expression of IGF-1R mRNA in the cells was examined using reverse transcriptase PCR assay.Different concentrations of IGF-1 were added in the medium based on the difference of tests.The relative free-cell area difference (ΔS) after test was measured by Photoshop CS4 software and compared among 0, 10 and 200 ng/ml IGF-1 groups 12 and 24 hours after cell scratching, respectively.The cell apoptotic rate was assayed by flow cytometry and compared between 0 ng/ml IGF-1 group and 1 000 ng/ml IGF-1 group, and the number of capillary tubes was examined by Matrigel test and assessed among 0, 10, 100 and 200 ng/ml IGF-1 groups 24 hours after addition of IGF-1.The expressions of platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB mRNA and caspase-3 mRNA in the cells of the 0, 500 and 1 000 ng/ml IGF-1 groups were detected by real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR after adding IGF-1 for 6 hours.


Cultured cells grew well and attached 90% confluence 2-3 days after incubation, and IGF-1R mRNA was positively expressed in the cells.In 12 and 24 hours after scratching, the relative migrating area of the cells was gradually reduced with the increase of IGF-1 contents.The ΔS was (4.83±0.61)×105 μm2 in the 200 ng/ml IGF-1 group, which was significantly larger than (3.28±0.64) ×105 μm2 in the 0 ng/ml IGF-1 group 24 hours after stretching (t=-3.707, P=0.021). The apoptotic rate in the 0 ng/ml IGF-1 group and 1 000 ng/ml IGF-1 group was (18.77±2.37)% and (12.05±0.88)%, with a significant difference between them (t=2.869, P=0.046). The number of intact tubes was significantly increased in the 200 ng/ml IGF-1 group compared with the 0 ng/ml IGF-1 group ([20.33±2.83]/well vs.[17.94±1.96]/well; t=-2.940, P=0.042). Compared with 0 ng/ml IGF-1 group, the relative expression level of PDGF-BB mRNA was elevated and that caspase-3 mRNA was evidently reduced in the 1 000 ng/ml IGF-1 group (t=-3.489, P=0.025; t=7.287, P=0.002).


IGF-1 can promote the migration and angiogenesis of HRECs and inhibit the apoptosis of HRECs.These effects of IGF-1 probably are associated with the up-regulation of PDGF-BB and down-regulation of caspase-3 in the cells.

Key words:

Insulin-like growth factor 1/metabolism; Retinal vascular endothelial cells; Angiogenesis; RNA, messenger/analysis; Migration; Apoptosis; Human

Contributor Information

Wang Mengjiao
Department of Ophthalmology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
Liu Gaoqin
Xu Jing
Li Dan
Lu Peirong
(Read 40 times, 1 visits today)
Updated: February 20, 2023 — 6:59 am