Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1), is structurally and functionally related to insulin but has a much higher growth-promoting activity. A variety of cellular responses are induced by IGF1, including cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and survival. IGF1 stimulates glucose transport in rat bone-derived osteoblastic (PyMS) cells and is effective at much lower concentrations than insulin, not only regarding glycogen and DNA synthesis but also with regards to enhancing glucose uptake. In the circulation, the IGFs are predominantly bound to binding proteins (IGFBPs) which prolong the half-life of the IGFs and play a role in delivering them to target tissues. Low levels of IGF1 have been linked to Alzheimer's disease.
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