Serum insulin-like growth factor-I, IGF binding protein-3 and IGFBP-3 protease activity after cranial irradiation

Vallo Tillmann, Stephen M. Shalet, David A. Price, Jeremy K.H. Wales, Louise Pennells, Joanne Soden, Matthew S. Gill, Andy J. Whatmore, Peter E. Clayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The relationship between peak growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), IGF-I binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) and IGFBP-3 protease activity was studied in 28 children and adolescents undergoing investigation of pituitary function 0.4-14.2 years after cranial or craniospinal irradiation for the treatment of CNS tumours distant from the hypothalamic-pituitary axis (n = 16) or prophylaxis against CNS leukaemia (n = 12). Seven out of 15 patients with GH deficiency (GHD) (defined as a peak GH concentration < 7.5 ng/ml in a stimulation test) had IGF-I < -2 standard deviation score (SDS). None of the 28 patients had serum IGFBP-3 concentrations measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) < -1.5 SDS with no difference between those with and without GHD. IGFBP-3 concentrations measured by RIA were strongly correlated to IGFBP-3 band density on Western ligand blot (WLB) (r = 0.71; p < 0.0001). IGFBP-3 protease activity was negatively correlated to IGFBP-3 by RIA (r = -0.55; p < 0.01) and to IGFBP-3 by WLB (r = -0.51; p < 0.01). Twenty-two patients had normal IGFBP-3 protease activity (< 30% of the activity in pregnancy serum) indicating that serum IGFBP-3 protease activity does not account for the normal levels of IGFBP-3 in RIA. Low serum IGF-I but normal IGFBP-3 concentrations and in the majority normal IGFBP-3 protease activity was found in patients in the years after CNS irradiation. Neither serum IGF-I nor IGFBP-3 can be used as a reliable index of the development of radiation-induced GHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalHormone Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cranial irradiation
  • Growth hormone
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • IGF binding protein
  • Insulin-like growth factor
  • Proteolysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Serum insulin-like growth factor-I, IGF binding protein-3 and IGFBP-3 protease activity after cranial irradiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this