• IGFs;
  • IGFBPs;
  • chick embryo;
  • muscle;
  • neuromuscular stimulation


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) -1 and -2 and binding protein (IGFBP-2, -4, and -5) expression can be affected by several environmental factors, but the impact of movement on the IGF axis during late embryogenesis has yet to be fully characterized. Movement was promoted in chick embryos during mid-embryogenesis using 4-aminopyridine (4-AP). The results indicate an increase in IGF-1 (P < 0.01) and a decrease in IGFBP-2 (P < 0.05) mRNA expression in slow muscle of the stimulated group compared with the control group. In fast muscle, there was a decrease in IGF-2 (P < 0.01) on embryonic day (ED) 16 and an increase in IGFBP-2 (P < 0.01) and IGFBP-4 (P < 0.05) and in IGFBP-5 (P < 0.05) expression on ED18 in the stimulated group compared with the control group. These results indicate that neuromuscular stimulation with 4-AP influences IGF axis gene expression in a muscle fiber type-dependent manner. Consequences of the changes in the IGF system for each muscle are discussed. Developmental Dynamics 235:1777–1784, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.