Indexed on: 01 Aug '95Published on: 01 Aug '95Published in: Endocrinology
The role of insulin-like growth factors (IGF) was investigated during the early development of the inner ear. IGF-I stimulated growth of otic vesicles that were isolated and cultured in vitro. IGF-I induced DNA synthesis, increased cell number, and mitotic rate in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations between 0.1-10 nM. IGF-II also induced growth but with a lower potency, whereas insulin had no effect. In the presence of IGF-I, otic vesicles developed from stage 18 to stage 21 in 24-h cultures, mimicking the normal mitotic pattern and morphogenesis in vivo. IGF-I also stimulated growth in the cochleovestibular ganglion. Binding of 125I-IGF-I to specific receptors occurred with high affinity. An autoradiographic study of sections from otic vesicles showed radiolabeled IGF-I in the epithelium. Immunoreactivity to IGF-I was detected in the otic vesicle and in the cochleovestibular ganglion. Intracellular signaling mechanisms of IGF were explored by studying the turnover of glycosylated phosphatidylinositols and the expression of Fos oncoprotein. IGF-I rapidly increased Fos levels in cultured otic vesicles. Furthermore, antisense oligonucleotides complementary to c-fos were able to inhibit IGF-I-induced growth. Both IGF-I-induced cell proliferation and Fos expression were blocked by an antiinositol phosphoglycan (alpha-IPG) antibody. This work suggests that IGF-I may be a candidate to regulate proliferative growth of the otic primordium during normal development and that this action requires the sequential modulation of glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol turnover and Fos expression.