Insulin-like growth factor I: a possible metabolic signal involved in the regulation of female puberty. Academic Article uri icon


  • In both rats and primates, including humans, serum levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) increase during the onset of puberty, suggesting a role for IGF-I in this process. We examined the ability of IGF-I to affect the release of hypothalamic luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) in prepubertal female rats. Our results indicate that IGF-I acts on the median eminence, which contains the highest density of type 1 IGF receptors in the brain, to elicit a dose-related increase in LHRH release. In this regard, a minimal effective dose of 10 ng/ml (p less than 0.05) and a maximal effective dose of 100 ng/ml (p less than 0.01) was observed. IGF-II and insulin were one order of magnitude less effective. The results demonstrate that IGF-I has the capability to act directly upon the median eminence to effect release of LHRH, thereby suggesting a role for IGF-I in facilitating peripubertal changes in LHRH release. Thus, IGF-I may represent one of the 'metabolic signals' thought to be involved in the initiation of puberty.

published proceedings

  • Neuroendocrinology

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hiney, J. K., Ojeda, S. R., & Dees, W. L.

citation count

  • 165

complete list of authors

  • Hiney, JK||Ojeda, SR||Dees, WL

publication date

  • October 1991