To characterize long-term actions and interactions of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) on postnatal body and organ growth, hemizygous phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK)-human IGF-II transgenic mice were crossed with hemizygous PEPCK-bovine GH transgenic mice. The latter are characterized by two-fold increased serum levels of IGF-I and exhibit markedly increased body, skeletal and organ growth. Four different genetic groups were obtained: mice harbouring the IGF-II transgene (I), the bGH transgene (B), or both transgenes (IB), and non-transgenic controls (C). These groups of mice have previously been studied for circulating IGF-I levels (Wolf et al., 1995a), whereas the present study deals with body and organ growth. Growth curves (week 3 to 12) were estimated by regression with linear and quadratic components of age on body weight and exhibited significantly (p < 0.001) greater linear coefficients in B and IB than in I and C mice. The linear coefficients of male I and C mice were significantly (p < 0.001) greater than those of their female counterparts, whereas this sex-related difference was absent in the bGH transgenic groups. The weights of internal organs as well as the weights of abdominal fat, skin and carcass were recorded from 3.5- to 8-month-old mice. In addition, organ weight-to-body weight-ratios (relative organ weights) were calculated. Except for the weight of abdominal fat, absolute organ weights were as a rule significantly greater in B and IB than in I and C mice. IGF-II overproduction as a tendency increased the weights of kidneys, adrenal glands, pancreas and uterus both in the absence and presence of the bGH transgene. Analysis of relative organ weights demonstrated significant (p < 0.05) effects of elevated IGF-II on the relative growth of kidneys (males and females) and adrenal glands (females), confirming our previous report on organ growth of PEPCK-ICF-II transgenic mice. In females, IGF-II and GH overproduction were additive in stimulating the growth of spleen and uterus, providing evidence for tissue-specific postnatal growth promoting effects by IGF-II in the presence of elevated IGF-I.
Abdomen - growth & development : Adipose Tissue - physiology : Animals - physiology : Body Weight - genetics : Female - genetics : Growth Hormone - genetics : Insulin-Like Growth Factor I - metabolism : Insulin-Like Growth Factor II - genetics : Liver - growth & development : Male - growth & development : Mice - growth & development : Mice, Transgenic - growth & development : Organ Size - genetics : Skin - growth & development