Tissue-specific regulation of basic fibroblast growth factor mRNA levels by diabetes

C. W. Karpen, R. G. Spanheimer, A. L. Randolph, W. L. Lowe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Because basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is recognized as an angiogenic factor and diabetes is characterized by multiple vascular complications, including diabetic microangiopathy, we examined the regulation of tissue bFGF mRNA levels by diabetes. Diabetes was induced in male Sprague- Dawley rats by injection of 125 mg/kg body wt i.v. streptozocin (STZ), with intensive insulin therapy initiated in half of the diabetic rats. Rats were killed 96 h postinjection of STZ. Tissue bFGF and insulinlike growth factor I (IGF-I) mRNA levels were measured simultaneously with a solution hybridization-RNase protection assay. bFGF mRNA levels increased from 1.7- to 2.7-fold in eye, heart, lung, and brain from diabetic compared with buffer- injected control rats. In skeletal muscle, bFGF mRNA levels decreased to 23% of control levels, whereas bFGF mRNA levels were unchanged in kidneys from diabetic versus control rats. Changes in tissue bFGF mRNA levels were partially reversed by insulin treatment in all tissues. In contrast, IGF-I mRNA levels were significantly decreased from 15 to 50% of control levels in all tissues studied except those in brain, which decreased to only 85% of control levels. These data demonstrate that bFGF mRNA levels are altered by diabetes in a tissue-specific fashion and are consistent with the hypothesis that increased production of bFGF may contribute to the development of diabetic microangiopathy in some tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-226
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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