The localisation and characterisation of insulin-like growth factor-I receptors and the investigation of melatonin receptors on the hair follicles of seasonal and non-seasonal fibre-producing goats

P Dicks, C J Morgan, Peter John Morgan, Denise Kelly, Lynda Williams

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To define the hormonal influences that are directly involved in the hair follicle cycles of animals with differing patterns of fibre growth and moulting, we have investigated the possible presence of IGF-I and melatonin receptors on the dermis and hair follicles of cashmere and Angora goats, sampled in February, March and June, using quantitative in vitro autoradiography. The presence of IGF-I receptors in the dermis of both breeds of goat was determined using cryostat sections incubated with 50 PM I-125-labelled IGF-I in the presence or absence of 50 nM IGF-I. Sections of the growing tip of deer antlers containing the cartilaginous zone, a tissue known to contain high concentrations of specific IGF-I receptors, were used as a positive control. As the production of antler velvet uniquely involves the generation of hair follicles Ae novo, the presence of IGF-I receptors in the velvet-producing region was also investigated. In both breeds of goat, specific I-125-IGF-I binding was localised over the inner and outer root sheath, the matrix, the germinal matrix, the dermal papilla and the sebaceous glands and satisfied the basic kinetic criteria considered to be representative of a specific IGF-I receptor. Analysis of saturation isotherms using a one-site binding model revealed dissociation constants (K-d) in the range 0.1-0.9 nM and theoretical maximal numbers of binding sites (B-max) between 21.4 and 45.6 fmol/mg tissue. K-d and B-max values derived from cashmere and Angora goats sampled at different times of the year did not differ significantly between breeds or sampling times. Specific I-125-IGF-I binding was also localised to the developing follicles on the deer antler dermis. The presence of melatonin receptors within the goat dermis was also investigated. Sections were incubated with 100 pM 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin with or without 0.1 mu M melatonin, along with sections of sheep pan tuberalis which are known to contain high levels of high-affinity melatonin receptors. No displaceable 2-[I-125]iodomelatonin binding was found on any sections of the cashmere or Angora skin analysed. It is therefore concluded that melatonin receptors are not present on the hair follicles or associated structures. IGF-I receptors are present on the hair follicle and sebaceous gland and may be involved in the growth of both seasonally and non-seasonally produced fibre and in the development of antler velvet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996


  • fox alopex-lagopus
  • cashmere goats
  • binding-proteins
  • spring molt
  • ovine skin
  • IGF-I
  • prolactin
  • localization
  • hormone
  • antler

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