IGFs and their binding proteins have been shown to exhibit both protective and deleterious effects in ocular disease. recent findings of IGF and IGFBP expression in the eye with relevance to different retinopathies. Keywords: IGF IGF binding protein retinopathy hypoxia blood retinal barrier vascular protection Gemcitabine elaidate Introduction Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are peptides produced in the liver and throughout most tissues that stimulate mitogenic activity through their conversation with IGF receptors (IGFRs) . Two KIAA0564 forms have been identified: IGF-I and IGF-II; they are regulated by insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) and IGFBP proteases to collectively form the IGF system. IGFBPs interact with a glycoprotein the acid-labile subunit (ALS) and binds free IGF in serum to form a ternary complex and modulate IGF binding to IGFRs on endothelium . Of the IGFBPs IGFBP-3 is usually most abundant in postnatal serum and carries more than 75% of serum IGF-I and IGF-II in complexes [1 3 Other IGFBPs bind a small proportion of IGF and less than 1% of IGFs are circulating freely . The presence of IGFBPs was postulated in the 1960s but the definitive studies were carried in the mid Gemcitabine elaidate 1980s until successful cloning and sequencing of six IGFBPs (IGFBP-1 to IGFBP-6) in the early 1990s [2 4 Since then nine IGFBP related proteins (IGFBP-rPs) sharing some homology have been identified. All bind to IGF although with lower affinity than IGFBPs [10-12]. Serum IGF-I is usually synthesized and released from the liver following activation of hepatic receptors via binding of growth hormone (GH) so IGF-I may be important for regulating growth [13 14 A dual effector theory has been proposed suggesting that GH causes cell differentiation while IGF-I promotes cell proliferation . Early studies in GH deficient children showed that IGF-I has a major role in regulating fetal growth especially during the third trimester . Recent pharmacokinetic studies have decided dosing parameters of IGF-I/IGFBP-3 to maintain IGF-I levels at normal physiologic range in preterm infants without significant changes to blood pressure heart rate or blood glucose levels . Premature infants Gemcitabine elaidate with insufficient IGF-I can be given exogenous IGF-I to promote normal vessel development and to prevent retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) [17 18 Modulating IGFBP expression may have inhibitory or stimulatory effects depending on the microenvironment and cellular context [19-21]. IGF-I and IGF-II have been linked to atherosclerosis to stimulate vascular easy muscle cell proliferation (VSMC) and maintain plaque stability [22 23 Although VSMC proliferation Gemcitabine elaidate may contribute to the development of plaques it has also been suggested that reducing IGF-I levels below physiologic levels may lead to loss of VSMC destabilize plaques and thus increase in risk of thrombosis . A Gemcitabine elaidate reduction in circulating IGF-I levels has been shown to promote atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-deficient mice . Increased IGFBP-1 levels reduced plaque burden lowers blood pressure and confers protection from atherosclerosis in mice overexpressing IGFBP-1 . Upon plaque inflammation IGFBP-1 is usually activated to control SMC proliferation which may regulate fibroproliferative processes and subsequently plaque stability . In prostate cancer IGFBP-3 has been shown to mediate anti-growth signals induce apoptosis in prostate cancer cells and display antiangiogenic properties [28-32]. In breast malignancy cells IGFBP-3 appears to maintain cell survival under adverse microenvironments by binding to glucose-regulated protein 78 and stimulating autophagy . IGFBP-3 can also bind to a cell death receptor IGFBP-3R that is expressed in M12 human prostate cancer cells and MDA231 breast malignancy cells . IGFBP-3/IGFBP-3R mRNA expression is usually reduced in invasive tissues compared to benign tissues . Restoring the expression of IGFBP-3/IGFBP-3R enhanced tumor suppressive activity by Gemcitabine elaidate activating Caspase-8 signaling . Most tissues can synthesize IGF-I therefore locally derived IGF-I may have more dominant functions in regulating the tissue microenvironment than serum IGF-I [15 35 Within the eye IGF-I receptors (IGF-IR) are present on retinal microvascular cells and their activation increases both DNA synthesis and promotes migration [15 36 37 Vitreal IGF-I levels were found to be increased in diabetic patients [14 15 38 Thus IGF-I may be involved in retinal neovascularization which is a primary.