Epidermal growth factor primes intestinal epithelial cells for proliferative effect of insulin-like growth factor I

Mark D. Duncan, Louis Y. Korman, Barbara L. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) synergistically enhances epidermal growth factor (EGF) -stimulated proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells. A possible mechanism of this synergy is that EGF acts as a "competence" factor increasing the fraction of proliferating cells by promoting transition from G0 to G1, thus allowing IGF-I, a "progression" factor, to act as a proliferative agent on the cycling population. Consistent with this hypothesis would be temporally distinct actions wherein initial brief exposure to EGF would permit synergy, whereas pretreatment with IGF-I would not. Rat intestinal epithelial cells of the IEC-18 crypt cell line were serum-deprived, then treated with EGF (5×10-9 M), IGF-I (5×10-9 M), or insulin (2×10-6 M) for a 30-min pulse and then media containing EGF, IGF-I, insulin, or no factor was substituted for 48 hr. IGF-I and EGF each stimulated enterocyte proliferation; together they synergistically promoted cell growth. A brief pulse of IGF-I neither induced cell proliferation nor enhanced the EGF effect. Initial brief exposure to EGF, however, was equally efficacious as continuous exposure and allowed full synergy with IGF-I. Insulin at supraphysiologic levels acted similarly to IGF-I. Thus, EGF acted as a competence factor priming the cells for subsequent action by IGF-I. The cell kinetic parameters of these growth factors may be important to both physiologic and pathologic enterocyte growth regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2197-2201
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1994


  • cell cycle
  • crypt cell
  • enterocyte
  • epidermal growth factor
  • insulin-like growth factors
  • intestine
  • proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Epidermal growth factor primes intestinal epithelial cells for proliferative effect of insulin-like growth factor I'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this