Stunted growth is a common complication of childhood diseases characterized by chronic inflammation or infections. We previously demonstrated that NSE/hIL-6 transgenic mice, overexpressing the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 since early phase of life, showed a marked growth defect associated with decreased IGF-I levels, suggesting that IL-6 is one of the factors involved in stunted growth complicating chronic inflammation in childhood. Here we show that NSE/hIL-6 mice have normal liver IGF-I production, decreased levels of IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and increased serum IGFBP-3 proteolysis. Reduced IGFBP-3 levels results in a marked decrease in the circulating 150-kDa ternary complex, even in the presence of normally functional acid labile subunit. Pharmacokinetic studies showed that NSE/hIL-6 mice have accelerated IGF-I clearance. Patients with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (s-JIA), a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by prominent IL-6 production and complicated by stunted growth associated with low IGF-I levels, have markedly decreased IGFBP-3 levels, increased serum IGFBP-3 proteolysis and normal acid labile subunit levels. Our data show that chronic overproduction of IL-6 causes decreased IGFBP-3 levels, resulting in a decreased association of IGF-I in the 150-kDa complex. Decreased levels of IGF-I appear to be secondary to increased clearance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism