Research Article| Volume 48, ISSUE 6, P1340-1347, June 2013

IGF-2 mediates intestinal mucosal hyperplasia in retinoblastoma protein (Rb)-deficient mice



      We have previously demonstrated a hyperplastic phenotype when Rb expression was disrupted within the intestinal epithelium. These findings mimic resection-induced adaptation suggesting a possible mechanistic role for Rb during adaptation. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate a mechanism for how Rb deficiency induces intestinal hyperplasia.


      Enterocytes isolated from intestine-specific Rb knockout mice (Rb-IKO) underwent a microarray to elucidate their gene expression profile. IGF2 expression was significantly elevated, which was subsequently confirmed by RT-PCR and in situ mRNA hybridization. Mice with deficient expression of IGF2 or its receptor IGF1R were therefore crossed with Rb-IKO mice to determine the significance of IGF2 in mediating the Rb-IKO intestinal phenotype.


      Expression of IGF2 was significantly elevated in villus enterocytes of Rb-IKO mice. The mucosal hyperplasia in Rb-IKO mice was reversed when either IGF2 or IGF1R expression was genetically disrupted in Rb-IKO mice.


      IGF-2 expression is significantly elevated in villus enterocytes and is required for the hyperplastic intestinal mucosal phenotype of Rb-IKO mice. The trophic effects of IGF2 require intact IGF1R signaling within the intestinal epithelium. These findings reveal novel regulatory roles for Rb in expanding intestinal mucosal surface area.

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