• tumour microenvironment;
  • insulin-like growth factor I;
  • murine;
  • osteosarcoma;
  • pulmonary metastasis


The insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) signaling pathway has been shown to play an important role in several aspects of cancer biology, including metastasis. The aim of this study was to define the contribution of serum (endocrine) and local (tumour microenvironment) IGF-I on osteosarcoma tumour growth and metastasis, a cancer that is known to be dependent on the IGF-I axis. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated the primary tumour growth and metastatic progression of K7M2 murine osteosarcoma cells injected to a genetically engineered mouse [liver-specific IGF-I deficient (LID)] in which serum IGF-I levels are reduced by 75%, while maintaining expression of IGF-I in normal tissues. We first demonstrated that IGF-I in the tumour and the tumour-microenvironment were maintained in the LID mice. Within this designed model, there was no difference in primary tumour growth or in pulmonary metastasis in LID mice compared to control mice. Furthermore, there was no difference in the number or localization of single metastatic cells immediately after their arrival in the lungs of LID mice and control mice, as analysed by single cell video microscopy. Collectively, these data suggest that marked reduction in serum IGF-I is not sufficient to slow the progression of either primary or metastatic models of osteosarcoma. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.