Insulin-like growth factor I expression in thyroid tumors

Eugenio Maiorano, Anna Ciampolillo, Giuseppe Viale, Patrick Maisonneuve, Antonio Ambrosi, Vincenzo Triggiani, Ersilia Marra, Elda Perlino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) likely is involved in thyrocyte proliferation via autocrine mechanisms, but limited data are available on its in vivo expression in thyroid neoplasms. This prompted us to explore IGF-1 expression at the protein and mRNA levels and IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1rec) immunore-activity in normal and neoplastic thyroids (50 adenomas and 53 carcinomas). We documented increased IGF-1 and IGF-1rec immunoreactivity in adenomas (31 of 50 and 40 of 50 cases, respectively) and carcinomas (38 of 53 and 42 of 53 cases) compared with normal thyroid, which only showed minimal immunoreactivity for the ligand and its receptor. A corresponding up- regulation of IGF-1 mRNA was documented in carcinomas, whereas adenomas exhibited down-regulated expression of IGF-1 mRNA. Immunoreactivity for IGF-1 and cognate receptor positively correlated with tumor diameter and wide intrathyroidal extension but not with patients' gender and age or with the stage of the tumors and the occurrence of lymph node metastases. These data emphasize a possible role of the IGF-1 system in thyroid tumorigenesis, as indicated by in vitro studies. In addition, the evaluation of IGF-1 and IGF- 1rec immunoreactivity might have clinical implications, because it positively correlates with the aggressiveness of these tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000


  • Growth factors
  • Insulin-like growth factor
  • Insulin-like growth factor receptor
  • Thyroid gland
  • Thyroid neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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