1. Chronic alcohol treatment has been reported to be associated with liver and kidney damage. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) is the major growth factor related to alcohol consumption. However, the effect of alcohol on the IGF system in the liver and kidney has not been fully elucidated. Thus, the present study was conducted to investigate this issue.
2. Alcohol reduced the level of IGF-I in a dose-dependent manner in the serum, liver and kidney. Alcohol also decreased the level of IGF-II in the liver. In contrast, alcohol increased the level of IGF-II in the serum and kidney. These observations were correlated with IGF-I and IGF-II mRNA expression in the liver and kidney.
3. To examine the effect of alcohol on IGF receptors in the liver and kidney, IGF-I receptor mRNA was measured. Alcohol decreased IGF-I receptor mRNA in the liver and kidney.
4. In experiments performed to examine the regulation of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP), alcohol increased serum levels of IGFBP-1. However, alcohol had no effect on serum levels of IGFBP-2, -3 and -4. These effects were also observed in the liver and kidney.
5. In conclusion, alcohol alters the IGF system in rat liver and kidney in a tissue-specific manner, which may contribute to the metabolic dysfunction following chronic alcohol consumption.