The role of the insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) in programmed cell death has been investigated in vivo in a biodiffusion chamber, where the extent of cell death could be determined quantitatively. We found that a decrease in the number of IGF-IRs causes massive apoptosis in vivo in several transplantable tumors, either from humans or rodents. Conversely, an overexpressed IGF-IR protects cells from apoptosis in vivo. We also show that the same conditions that in vitrocause only partial growth arrest with a minimum of cell death, induce in vivo almost complete cell death. We conclude that the IGF-IR activated by its ligands plays a very important protective role in programmed cell death.
Insulin‐like growth factor (IGF)‐I protects many cell types from apoptosis. As a result, it is possible that IGF‐I‐responsive cancer cells may be resistant to apoptosis‐inducing chemotherapies. Therefore, we examined the effects of IGF‐I on paclitaxel and doxorubicin‐induced apoptosis in the IGF‐I‐responsive breast cancer cell line MCF‐7. Both drugs caused DNA laddering in a dose‐dependent fashion, and IGF‐I reduced the formation of ladders. We next examined the effects of IGF‐I and estradiol on cell survival following drug treatment in monolayer culture. IGF‐I, but not estradiol, increased survival of MCF‐7 cells in the presence of either drug. Cell cycle progression and counting of trypan‐blue stained cells showed that IGF‐I was inducing proliferation in paclitaxel‐treated but not doxorubicin‐treated cells. However, IGF‐I decreased the fraction of apoptotic cells in doxorubicin‐ but not paclitaxel‐treated cells. Recent work has shown that mitogen‐activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphotidylinositol‐3 (PI‐3) kinase are activated by IGF‐I in these cells. PI‐3 kinase activation has been linked to anti‐apoptotic functions while MAPK activation is associated with proliferation. We found that IGF‐I rescue of doxorubicin‐induced apoptosis required PI‐3 kinase but not MAPK function, suggesting that IGF‐I inhibited apoptosis. In contrast, IGF‐I rescue of paclitaxel‐induced apoptosis required both PI‐3 kinase and MAPK, suggesting that IGF‐I‐mediated protection was due to enhancement of proliferation. Therefore, IGF‐I attenuated the response of breast cancer cells to doxorubicin and paclitaxel by at least two mechanisms: induction of proliferation and inhibition of apoptosis.Thus, inhibition of IGF‐I action could be a useful adjuvant to cytotoxic chemotherapy in breast cancer.
Resistance of cancer cells against apoptosis induced by death factors contributes to the limited efficiency of immune- and drug-induced destruction of tumors. We report here that insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) fully protect HT29-D4 colon carcinoma cells from IFNg/tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF) induced apoptosis. Survival signaling initiated by IGF-I was not dependent on the canonical survival pathway involving phosphatidylinositol 3*-kinase. In addition, neither pp70S6K nor protein kinase C conveyed IGF-I antiapoptotic function. Inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) with the MAPK/ERK kinase inhibitor PD098059 and MAPK/p38 with the specific inhibitor SB203580 partially reversed, in a nonadditive manner, the IGF-I survival effect. Inhibition of nuclear factor kB (NF-kB) activity by preventing degradation of the inhibitor of NF-kB (IkB-a) with BAY 11-7082 also blocked in part the IGF-I antiapoptotic effect. However, the complete reversal of the IGF-I effect was obtained only when NF-kB and either MAPK/ERK or MAPK/p38 were inhibited together. Because these pathways are also those used by TNF to signal inflammation and survival, these data point to a cross talk between IGF-Iand TNF-induced signaling. We further report that TNF-induced IL-8 production was indeed strongly enhanced upon IGF-I addition, and this effect was totally abrogated by both MAPK and NF-kB inhibitors. The IGF-I antiapoptotic function was stimulus-dependent because Fas- and IFN/Fas-induced apoptosis was not efficiently inhibited by IGF-I. This was correlated with the weak ability of Fas ligation to enhance IL-8 production in the presence or absence of IGF-I. These findings indicate that the antiapoptotic function of IGF-I in HT29-D4 cells is based on the enhancement of the survival pathways initiated by TNF, but not Fas, and mediated by MAPK/p38, MAPK/ERK, and NF-kB, which act in concert to suppress the proapoptotic signals. In agreement with this model, we show that it was possible to render HT29-D4 cells resistant to Fas-induced apoptosis provided that IGF-I and TNF receptors were activated simultaneously.