IGF1 and IGF2

Difference Between IGF1 and IGF2

A brief introduction to IGF1 and IGF2

IGF1 is the main growth hormone found in adults while IGF2 plays an essential part in fetal development.

Insulin-like growth factors 1 (IGF1), and Insulin like Growth Factor 2(IGF2) are similar to Insulin. Both hormones can stimulate growth while simultaneously lowering blood glucose levels; although similar in their actions they do not act as strongly.

IGF1 and IGF2 serve many roles, regulating metabolic and developmental processes. They regulate cell division and bone lengthening while controlling growth and differentiation processes such as cell division. An IGF-binding protein can inhibit or regulate both of these hormones.

Importance of IGF1 and IGF2 in human growth and Development

IGF1 and IGF2 play an essential role in human growth and development, impacting many physiological processes significantly. Here are a few key points that showcase their significance:

1. Prenatal and early childhood development: IGF2 plays an essential role in prenatal and early childhood Development. It plays an essential part in placenta development – essential in providing oxygen and nutrition to an unborn baby – as well as brain development processes; such early interventions establish the basis of future growth.

2. Postnatal growth and bone development: IGF1 acts as an intermediary in the effects of growth hormone (GH) on skeletal development, stimulating bone growth plates to promote longitudinal development during childhood and adolescence. Furthermore, this protein plays a key role in bone Mineralization.

3. Muscle growth and repair: IGF1 and IGF2 both play an essential role in muscle repair and growth, encouraging protein synthesis while simultaneously encouraging myocyte proliferation, differentiation, and regeneration after injury or exercise-induced damage.

4. Metabolic regulation: IGF1 plays an essential role in metabolism and nutrient use. It increases insulin sensitivity by encouraging cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream thus lowering blood glucose levels. Furthermore, its influences lipid metabolism through lipolysis (promoting breakdown) and inhibiting lipogenesis (impeding production). All these metabolic processes play a vital part in Maintaining body composition and energy balance.

5. Tissue growth and repair: IGF1 and IGF2 both promote cell division and growth across tissues, contributing to overall tissue repair processes and growth. Furthermore, these growth factors encourage organ cells such as the liver, kidneys, and intestines to proliferate quickly promoting tissue regeneration and repair processes.

6. Developmental Disorders: Alterations in IGF1 or IGF2 signaling may result in developmental disorders like Silver-Russell Syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, and growth hormone insensitivity – conditions characterized by abnormalities in metabolism, growth, and organ development that highlight the significance of IGF1/IGF2 function for healthy development.

7. Cancer and Tumor Progression: Dysregulation of the IGF1-IGF2 signaling pathway has been associated with various cancer types. Increased IGF1 levels as well as decreased levels of IGF binding protein have been linked with an increase in risk for breast colorectal, and Prostate cancers. Furthermore, abnormal expression and signaling patterns were detected among several cancer types indicating their involvement with tumor progression and growth.

Understanding the roles that IGF1 and IGF2 play in human growth, development, and metabolism is crucial for creating therapeutic Strategies to treat growth disorders caused by aberrant IGF signals. Research continues to shed more light on their intricate roles within various physiological and pathological processes.

What Is IGF1 (Insulin-like Growth Hormone 1)?

Insulin like Growth Factor 1 or IGF1 commonly referred to as IGF1 plays an essential role in Human growth and development. IGF1 belongs to the family of insulin-like growth factors which also includes IGF2.

IGF1 is produced primarily in the liver; however, other tissues like skeletal muscles and kidneys also contribute. Growth

Figure 01: IGF1

hormone (GH), released by the pituitary gland, helps stimulate its production; in turn stimulating liver production of IGF1, then released into bloodstream circulation.

IGF-1 acts as a mediator between growth hormone (GH) and various tissues within the body by binding with IGF1R receptors found on target cells, and helping children and adolescents experience healthy development.

The binding of IGF1 with its receptor activates signaling cascades that promote cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. IGF1 binding increases insulin-like growth factors binding proteins (IGFBPs), stimulates protein synthesis, increases amino acid and glucose uptake, and boosts cell proliferation; IGFBPs then bind IGF1 for transport through bloodstream regulation regulating availability.

IGF1 plays an essential role in metabolic regulation. It regulates both glucose and lipid metabolic processes by increasing insulin sensitivity which leads to increased cellular uptake of glucose and decreased blood glucose. Furthermore, its effects include muscle maintenance and development as well as bone remodeling/growth as well as overall tissue repair.

IGF-1 is an essential hormone produced primarily by the liver as a response to Stimulation by growth hormone (GH). It plays a vital role in growth and metabolism promotion.

What Is IGF2 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 2)?

Insulin-Like Growth Factor 2 (or SomatomedinA), is an essential peptide in growth and development, belonging to the same family of hormones as IGF1; more commonly referred to by its acronym.

IGF2 is produced during fetal and early childhood development by various tissues including the placenta, liver, and kidney. Unlike IGF1, which is produced exclusively in liver cells only, IGF2 expression occurs across many tissues at different times in development.

IGF2 plays an essential role in the growth and differentiation of organs during fetal development. It plays an essential part in supporting organ growth like kidneys, livers, intestines, and skeletal muscles as they form. Furthermore, IGF2 supports placenta development by aiding its function which provides nutrients and oxygen to an unborn baby.

IGF2 plays an essential role in brain and organ growth. It influences structure and connectivity within developing brains as well as neural plasticity and growth.

Genomics imprinting is responsible for IGF2’s unique regulation. Genomic imprinting an epigenetic process in which gene expression depends on whether it was Inherited by either mother or father, can play a crucial role. With regards to IGF2, alleles inherited from the father are active while those inherited from the mother are silenced due to this imprinted expression pattern resulting in different IGF2 expression patterns and differential regulation of expression levels.

Figure 02: IGF2

Adult production of IGF2 drops dramatically and its functions have not been as thoroughly investigated as those of IGF1. Recent research indicates that it may play a key role in cancer Progression and tumorigenesis for instance, its abnormal expression and signaling have been observed across various tumor types, suggesting its involvement with their growth and progression.

IGF2 plays an essential role in fetal development, brain and organ growth. Its unique functions and expression pattern contribute to proper growth and development during early childhood. Research is ongoing in order to better understand its roles in various Physiological and pathological processes.

Differences between IGF1 and IGF2

IGF1 belongs to the same family as IGF2, but they each possess unique properties and functions. Here are some key distinctions between IGF1 and IGF2:

1. IGF1 Expression in Specific Tissues: IGF1 is produced primarily in the liver but can also be synthesized by other tissues including Skeletal muscles and kidneys. Conversely, IGF2 can be found expressed across a wide variety of tissues such as livers, kidneys, and brain regions – giving rise to physiological differences between tissues due to differential expression levels.

2. Genetic Regulation: IGF1 expression is controlled primarily by growth hormone (GH), as GH stimulates liver production of IGF1. IGF2 production, however, is managed via genomic imprinting – meaning only alleles passed down from the father will become active while any passed from the mother will remain silent – leading to distinct expression patterns for IGF2.

3. Roles in the Body: IGF1 plays an essential role in postnatal growth promotion, particularly bone and muscle development. While IGF2 has its own distinct physiological effect. Together they play key roles during development by modulating metabolic regulation involving glucose, cholesterol metabolism, and increasing insulin sensitivity; in turn, IGF1 has major functions during fetal development, organ differentiation/growth as well as brain development processes.

4. Functions in cancer: IGF1 and IGF2 each play their own distinct role in cancer development. Certain cancers are linked with higher risks when IGF1 levels increase while IGFBP levels decline, as IGF1 promotes cell proliferation and growth – potentially contributing to tumor development.

On the other hand, IGF2 seems more closely tied to tumorigenesis – it has been noted in multiple types of tumors, suggesting a link to its progression or development.

5. Postnatal Expression: IGF1 production decreases after puberty and remains fairly constant throughout adulthood, while IGF2 levels decline rapidly after birth and remain low except under specific pathological circumstances.

Understanding the differences between IGF1 and IGF2 will enable you to better comprehend their roles and mechanisms of action within various Physiological processes. While they share similar qualities, each plays an essential part in growth, disease prevention, and development.

IGF1 and IGF2: Connections to Age-Related Diseases

IGF1 and IGF2 play an important role in the aging process and age related diseases. Here is their connection with these conditions:

1. IGF1 and Aging: Declining levels of IGF1 as we age can contribute to various age-related diseases and changes. Reduced IGF1 signals have been linked with reduced muscle strength, impaired bone density, and cognitive decline as well as an increase in frailty or sarcopenia risk. Maintaining optimal levels of IGF1 signaling could help mitigate some age-related effects.

2. IGF1 and Neurodegenerative Disorders: IGF1 is an attractive therapeutic option for neuroprotection and regeneration, particularly Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases characterized by neuronal loss. Studies on IGF1’s potential as a therapy have explored its use to treat such Neurodegenerative conditions as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

3. IGF2 and Aging: Studies on IGF2’s role in aging are less extensive than studies on its relationship to IGF1, although changes to IGF2 expression and signaling have been observed with ageing, possibly contributing to changes to tissues and organs associated with age. Further investigation will need to be completed in order to understand its exact implications on aging.

4. IGF1 and Metabolic Disorders Related to Aging: As we age, our risk for metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetics and insulin resistance increases significantly. Due to its role in metabolic regulation and increasing glucose and insulin metabolism, there may be an association between age-related metabolic diseases and IGF1 dysregulation and age-related metabolic illnesses; understanding and targeting IGF1 may provide solutions in managing and preventing such conditions.

5. Cancer and Aging: Both IGF1 and IGF2 play an essential role in cancer’s onset and Progression, and their incidence increases over time. Dysregulated IGF1/IGF2 pathways could contribute to tumor survival or metastasis – making studying IGF signaling essential when considering age-related risks for cancer and identifying possible therapeutic interventions.

Growth factor interactions, aging processes, and disease processes are highlighted by IGF1, IGF2, and age-related diseases. Additional research needs to be conducted in order to elucidate mechanisms behind their interactions, as well as explore therapeutic Interventions targeting IGF1 or IGF2 pathways as potential therapies against age related conditions.

Clinical implications and research

IGF1 and IGF2 both have significant clinical ramifications, while research into them continues apace. Here are some clinical considerations and research topics related to IGF1 or IGF2.

1. Growth disorders: Growth disorders can be caused by deficiencies or abnormalities of IGF1 and IGF2. Deficits in IGF1, as well as receptors involved with its signaling pathway, can lead to growth hormone insensitivity. Therefore, the goal of research into this area should be to both develop therapies and understand mechanisms underlying such conditions.

2. Diabetes and metabolic disorders: IGF1 and IGF2 play an essential role in metabolic regulation, particularly glucose and fat metabolism. Researchers are exploring whether targeting IGF1/IGF2 pathways might provide effective therapies to address metabolic conditions like obesity or insulin resistance.

3. Aging and age related diseases: Decreasing IGF1 levels as we age have been associated with muscle weakening, decreased bone density, and impaired cognitive performance. Research explores both IGF1 and II in relation to age-related diseases and promotes healthier aging as a way forward.

4. Cancer: IGF1 and IGF2 have long been implicated in cancer growth, survival, and Metastasis. Due to this link between IGFs and their receptors (IGF signaling pathways) and cancer treatments, researchers have conducted extensive studies aiming at targeting these pathways as a form of therapy – including the development and testing of targeted therapies to block IGF signaling – thus providing another means for combatting cancer through targeted treatments for these two hormones.

5. Neurological disorders: IGF1 and IGF2 play an essential role in brain function and development yet little research exists into their potential roles as therapeutic targets in Neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Researchers are conducting extensive investigations in this area.

6. Cardiovascular health: IGF1 and IIGF have long been associated with cardiovascular health, including their effects on vascular functions, cardiac remodeling, and repair after injury. Current research is investigating the mechanisms behind cardiovascular effects while exploring their therapeutic potential against heart-related illnesses.

7. Regenerative Medicine: Since IGF1 and IGF2 possess the power to stimulate tissue repair and cell growth, making them excellent candidates for regenerative approaches, this research aims to harness their regenerative capacities to develop tissue engineering techniques as well as treat various diseases.

Research continues to highlight the therapeutic potential and complex roles played by IGF1 across a range of clinical contexts. Researchers are making strides toward better understanding how both IGF1 and IGF2 act to develop targeted interventions for medical conditions that require them.

Comparison Chart of IGF1 and IGF2

Here is a chart that highlights the main differences between IGF1 and IGF2:

Topics IGF1 IGF2
Production Other tissues, such as kidneys, liver, and skeletal muscles The liver, kidneys, placenta and certain brain regions
Genetic Regulation Regulated by Growth Hormone (GH) Genomic imprinting, paternal allele active
Roles Physiological Postnatal growth, bone development, muscle growth, metabolic regulation Fetal development, organ growth, placental development, brain development
Expression levels After puberty, the level of testosterone decreases. Low in adult tissues, but high during fetal development (exceptions are pathological conditions).
Cancer – What are the implications? Cancer risk increases with higher levels Tumors are associated with abnormal expression
Metabolic regulation Increases insulin sensitivity and influences glucose metabolism Potential involvement in metabolism is not well understood
Ageing Age-related decline in levels The context of aging is less studied
Neurological effects Brain development and function influences Less studied, potential role in neurodegenerative disorders
Cardiovascular effects Involved in cardiac remodeling and repair, vascular function Potential cardiovascular implications of less studied research
Regenerative potential Cell growth and tissue regeneration is promoted. Potential for regenerative applications is still understudied

Similarities between IGF1 and IGF2

IGF1 and II share many characteristics, functions, and benefits as both members of the insulin-like growth factor family. Here are some key similarities between IGF1 and IGF2:

1. Structural similarities: IGF1 and IGF2 share striking structural resemblances with insulin. Their amino acid sequences and three dimensional structures resemble that of insulin, making it possible for these hormones to bind and activate insulin-like receptors (IGFRs).

2. IGF Receptor Activation: IGF1 interacts with specific IGF receptors to activate them, specifically IGF-1R type 1. This triggers cascades of signaling that lead to different cell responses such as Proliferation, growth, and survival.

3. IGF1 and IGF2 may serve overlapping functions: While each hormone plays a different role in growth and development, some physiological processes call upon both for their assistance simultaneously. Both IGF1 and IIGF play an integral part in cell growth promotion as well as muscle repair/growth regulation as well as bone development/growth regulation.

4. IGFBPs regulate IGFs: IGFBPs are proteins that bind to IGFs and modify their availability and activity in the bloodstream, including bioavailability, transport, transport velocity, transport rate, activity levels, and transporter transport times for IGF1 and IGF2.

5. Role in fetal development: IGF1 and II are essential in supporting fetal development and function, specifically organ growth and differentiation – such as that of the placenta. Both play an integral part in brain development.

6. Involvement in cancer: IGF1 and IGF2 have both been implicated in the development and Progression of cancer. Both IGFs are abnormally expressed or signaled in various tumors, suggesting their possible role in fueling cancer growth and metastasis.

While IGF1 and IGF2 share similarities, each has distinct functions and regulatory mechanisms. Acknowledging their similarities and distinctions is vital in understanding their roles within various physiological processes as well as potential implications for health or disease.


IGF1 and IGF2 belong to the family of insulin like growth factors essential to human growth, metabolism, and development. Although they share many similarities in terms of structure resemblances and activation of their respective IGF receptors, each possesses unique characteristics and functions.

IGF1 plays an integral role in postnatal growth and development, bone formation, muscle growth, and metabolic regulation. Additionally, it stimulates cell proliferation and differentiation processes which has an influence on overall development.

IGF2 plays a vital role in fetal development and organ formation. Its presence during prenatal development is essential to the formation of the brain and placenta. Furthermore, IGF2 has been linked with genomic imprinting where paternal genes become active while maternal ones remain inactive.

Knowing the difference between IGF-1 and IGF-2 will enable you to better comprehend their roles in various Physiological functions and their Influence on health.

Clinical applications of IGF1 & IGF2 include growth disorders, metabolic issues, cancers, neurologic conditions, cardiovascular health concerns, and regenerative medicines. Furthermore, research continues into their complex mechanisms of action as potential targets across numerous clinical environments.

IGF1 and IGF2 play an essential role in human growth and development as well as overall health, making their study essential to medical advancements as well as possible interventions against various disorders and diseases.