We report the expression of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and their binding proteins (IGFBPs) by breast cancer cells and normal breast tissue in vivo. N-nitrosomethyl-urea (NMU)-induced rat mammary tumors synthesize mRNAs for IGF-II and IGFBP-2, -3, and -4. In contrast, normal lactating breast contains only IGFBP-2 and IGF-I! messages; IGFBP-3 and -4 mRNAs are absent !n this tissue, IGF-I and IGFBP-1 mRNAs are not expressed in either NMU tumors or in normal breast. This is the first report of in vivo expression of IGFBPs and IGF-II messages in breast tumors.
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