Insulin and IGFs induce apoptosis in chick embryo retinas deprived of L-glutamine

Giuseppe Calvaruso, Renza Vento, Elvira Gerbino, Marianna Lauricella, Maria Carabillò, Helen Main, Giovanni Tesoriere

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In chick embryo retinas, cultured in serum-free medium lacking L-glutamine, IGF-I, IGF-II and insulin induced apoptotic DNA fragmentation and cell death, IGF-I being the most efficacious compound. The apoptotic effect, which was particularly evident in retinas removed from 7-day-old chick embryos, declined with the age of the embryos and disappeared after day 11. Apoptosis appeared after a time lag of 8 h and then increased with time up to 16 h. Cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, was capable of entirely abolishing apoptotic cell death. The effect induced by IGFs or insulin was suppressed by the addition of glutamine. Cytokine-mediated apoptosis was also observed after withdrawal of phosphate. We suggest that IGFs or insulin may produce, in retinas cultured in medium lacking L-glutamine or phosphate, a conflict of signals that could be lethal for retinal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-215
Number of pages7
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997


  • Apoptosis
  • Chick embryo retina
  • Development
  • Growth factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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