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Endocrine Journal
Vol. 47 (2000) No. 6 P 739-751



IGF-I regulates cell growth, differentiation, and survival in many cultured nerve cell lines. The present study was undertaken in the human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y, to elucidate whether there are differences in the IGF-dependent signal transduction pathways that stimulate proliferation compared to those that induce differentiation. Quiescent SH-SY5Y cells were treated with IGF-I in the presence or absence of PD98059 (an inhibitor of MEK, a MAP kinase kinase) or LY294002 (an inhibitor of PI 3-kinase). Cell growth was assessed by measuring [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA and cell number. Cell differentiation was assessed by measuring mRNA levels of NPY and neurite outgrowth. IGF-I both induced cell proliferation and differentiation. It stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of the type I IGF receptor (IGF-IR) β-subunit, IRS-1, IRS-2, and Shc, and these changes were associated with activation of Erk and Akt. PD98059 inhibited activation of Erk and LY294002 repressed activation of Akt in response to IGF-I, but did not affect tyrosine phosphorylation of the IGF-IR, IRS-1, IRS-2, or Shc. Each PD98059 and LY294002 inhibited IGF-I-dependent cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner. In contrast, each of these inhibitors only partially depressed NPY gene expression induced by IGF-I and slightly inhibited IGF-I-mediated neurite outgrowth; however, when both PD98059 and LY294002 were present, IGF-I-dependent NPY gene expression and neurite outgrowth were abolished completely. These results suggest that in these nerve cells, 1) the IGF-I signals through the MAP kinase pathway and PI-3 kinase pathway are independently essential to induce IGF-I-dependent growth, and 2) alternate activation of the MAP kinase pathway and PI 3-kinase pathway is sufficient for the cells to undergo IGF-I-dependent differentiation.

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