Interactions between vitamin D and IGF-I: From physiology to clinical practice

Pietro Ameri, Andrea Giusti, Mara Boschetti, Giovanni Murialdo, Francesco Minuto, Diego Ferone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interplay between vitamin D and IGF-I is complex and occurs at both endocrine and paracrine/autocrine levels. Vitamin D has been shown to increase circulating IGF-I and IGFBP-3, with the consistent finding of a positive correlation between vitamin D and IGF-I serum values in population-based cohorts of healthy subjects. The modulation of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 concentrations by vitamin D may impact recombinant human (rh) GH dosing for the treatment of GHD. It might also underlie some of the extra-skeletal beneficial effects ascribed to vitamin D. On the other hand, IGF-I stimulates renal production of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which increases calcium and phosphate availability in the body and suppresses PTH secretion. This effect is responsible for an altered calcium-phosphate balance in uncontrolled acromegaly and might also account for the improvement in bone metabolism associated with rhGH treatment in patients with GHD. Data on the paracrine/autocrine vitamin D-IGF-I interactions are abundant, but mostly not linked to one another. As a result, it is not possible to draw a comprehensive picture of the physiological and/or pathological interrelations between vitamin D, IGF-I and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP) in different tissues. A potential role of vitamin D action is related to its association with carcinogenesis, a paradigm being breast cancer. Current evidence indicates that, in breast tumours, vitamin D modulates the IGF-I/IGFBP ratio to decrease proliferation and increase apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-463
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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