Centenarians’ offspring represent a suitable model to study age-dependent variables (e.g. IGF-I) potentially involved in the modulation of the lifespan. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of the IGF-I in human longevity. We evaluated circulating IGF-I bioactivity measured by an innovative IGF-I Kinase Receptor Activation (KIRA) Assay, total IGF-I, IGFBP-3, total IGF-II, insulin, glucose, HOMA2-B% and HOMA2-S% in 192 centenarians’ offspring and 80 offspring-controls of which both parents died relatively young. Both groups were well-matched for age, gender and BMI with the centenarians’ offspring. IGF-I bioactivity (p<0.01), total IGF-I (p<0.01) and the IGF-I/IGFBP-3 molar ratio (p<0.001) were significantly lower in centenarians' offspring compared to offspring matched-controls. Serum insulin, glucose, HOMA2-B% and HOMA2-S% values were similar between both groups. In centenarians' offspring IGF-I bioactivity was inversely associated to insulin sensitivity. In conclusion: 1) centenarians’ offspring had relatively lower circulating IGF-I bioactivity compared to offspring matched-controls; 2) IGF-I bioactivity in centenarians’ offspring was inversely related to insulin sensitivity. These data support a role of the IGF-I/insulin system in the modulation of human aging process.
It seems very likely that a great deal of the variance in IGF-1 bioactivity in the centenarians’ offspring can be attributed to heredity. But, that bioactivity was also “inversely related to insulin sensitivity”; the greater the sensitivity, the lower the IGF-1 bioactivity. And insulin sensitivity can be modulated through diet (low-carb, especially) and exercise.