Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1: serum levels, promoter polymorphism, and associations with components of the metabolic syndrome in short subjects born small for gestational age


IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-1 is the only acute regulator of IGF-I bioavailability. Its production is suppressed by insulin, and low levels are associated with hyperinsulinemia and cardiovascular disease risk in adults. Data on IGFBP-1 levels in short, small for gestational age (SGA) subjects are scarce, and associations with IGFBP1 promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms have not been established.


The aim of the study was to determine IGFBP-1 levels in short SGA subjects compared with those in controls, to assess genotype frequency of the -575 G/A single nucleotide polymorphism, and to determine its impact on IGFBP-1 levels.


A total of 272 short subjects born SGA and 330 subjects with normal stature (245 children, 85 young adults) participated in the study.


We measured fasting levels of IGFBP-1, IGF-I, insulin and lipid parameters, and body composition.


IGFBP-1 sd score (SDS) was comparable to controls in lean, short, SGA children but significantly lower in short SGA adults with normal fat mass (P < 0.001). IGFBP-1 SDS correlated significantly with insulin levels, systolic blood pressure SDS, and various lipid parameters. Baseline IGFBP-1 SDS was lowest in SGA children with -575 GG genotype and significantly higher in SGA children with one or two copies of the A allele. In response to a given insulin level, children with the AA genotype had a significantly higher IGFBP-1 SDS compared to children with the GG genotype.


Normal IGFBP-1 levels in lean, short, SGA children may reflect a normal metabolic state, despite reported hyperinsulinemia. IGFBP-1 is modulated by polymorphic variability and seems to be an additional player in the complex interaction between the IGF-IGFBP axis, glucose homeostasis, and lipid metabolism.

D. van der Kaay, C. Deal, S. de Kort, R. Willemsen, R. Leunissen, W. Ester, J. Paquette, J. van Doorn, A. Hokken-Koelega
2009; 94 (4): 1386-1392
Published in: 
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Date of publication: 
April, 2009
Status of the publication: