Pregnancy associated plasma protein-A2 (PAPP-A2) and stanniocalcin-2 (STC2) but not PAPP-A are associated with circulating total IGF-1 in a human adult population


  • K. Nimptsch
  • E.E. Aydin
  • R.F.R. Chavarria
  • J. Janke
  • M.N. Poy
  • C. Oxvig
  • A. Steinbrecher
  • T. Pischon


  • Scientific Reports


  • Sci Rep 14 (1): 1770


  • The pappalysins pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and -A2 (PAPP-A2) act as proteinases of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) binding proteins, while stanniocalcin-2 (STC2) was identified as a pappalysin inhibitor. While there is some evidence from studies in children and adolescents, it is unclear whether these molecules are related to concentrations of IGF-1 and its binding proteins in adults. We investigated cross-sectionally the association of circulating PAPP-A, PAPP-A2 and STC2 with IGF-1 and its binding proteins (IGFBPs) in 394 adult pretest participants (20-69 years) of the German National Cohort Berlin North study center. Plasma PAPP-A, PAPP-A2, total and free IGF-1, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3, IGFBP-5 and STC2 were measured by ELISAs. The associations of PAPP-A, PAPP-A2 and STC2 with IGF-1 or IGFBPs were investigated using multivariable linear regression analyses adjusting for age, sex, body mass index and pretest phase. We observed significant inverse associations of PAPP-A2 (difference in concentrations per 0.5 ng/mL higher PAPP-A2 levels) with total IGF-1 (- 4.3 ng/mL; 95% CI - 7.0; - 1.6), the IGF-1:IGFBP-3 molar ratio (- 0.34%; 95%-CI - 0.59; - 0.09), but not free IGF-1 and a positive association with IGFBP-2 (11.9 ng/mL; 95% CI 5.0; 18.8). PAPP-A was not related to total or free IGF-1, but positively associated with IGFBP-5. STC2 was inversely related to total IGF-1, IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3 and positively to IGFBP-1. This first investigation of these associations in a general adult population supports the hypothesis that PAPP-A2 as well as STC2 play a role for IGF-1 and its binding proteins, especially for total IGF-1. The role of PAPP-A2 and STC2 for health and disease in adults warrants further investigation.