Plasma and mammary efferent lymph concentrations of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) were determined in lactating ewes before and after treatment with GH (10 mg/day) for 3 days. The lymph:plasma ratio of IGF-I increased from 0.34 to 0.47 after GH treatment when the IGF-I content of plasma increased by 19.4 nmol/l (from 32.1 nmol/l) and lymph by 13.7 nmol/l (from 10.7 nmol/l). This increase in the relative content of IGF-I in lymph was associated with increased lymph content of IGF-I in a lower molecular mass pool (nominally 50 kDa) derived by size exclusion chromatography. GH treatment increased in total binding capacity for IGF-I in both high (150 kDa) and low (50 kDa) molecular mass pools of plasma and the 150 kDa pool in lymph but there was a proportionally greater increase in 50 kDa total binding in lymph relative to plasma. Further, GH treatment increased the 'saturation' of the 50 kDa binding proteins but decreased the 'saturation' of the 150 kDa fraction, in both plasma and lymph. Ligand blot analysis of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) in plasma and lymph showed that GH treatment of lactating sheep increased IGFBP-3 and decreased IGFBP-2 in plasma and lymph. Radioimmunoassay of IGFBP-2 showed that while GH treatment reduced the plasma content of IGFBP-2 by about half, the lymph:plasma ratio was increased from 0.68 to 0.87. GH treatment of lactating ewes not only increased the IGF-I content of plasma but increased the apparent efficiency of transfer of IGF-I across capillary endothelium to mammary efferent lymph.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism