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Horm Res Paediatr. 2011;75(3):166-73. doi: 10.1159/000319706. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Effects of prenatal ethanol exposure on postnatal growth and the insulin-like growth factor axis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, San Borja Arriarán Clinical Hospital, Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

AIMS:

To study the effect of in-utero alcohol exposure on the insulin-like growth factor axis (IGF) and leptin during infancy and childhood, considering that exposed children may exhibit pre- and postnatal growth retardation.

METHODS:

We prospectively identified heavily drinking pregnant women who consumed on average 4 or more drinks of ethanol per day (≥ 48 g/day) and assessed growth in 69 of their offspring and an unexposed control group of 83 children, measuring serum IGF-I (radioimmunoassay), IGF-II (immunoradiometric assay, IRMA), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) (IRMA) and leptin (IRMA) at 1 month and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years of age.

RESULTS:

IGF-II levels increased with age in both groups, but the rate of increase was significantly higher in exposed children, and levels were significantly higher in ethanol-exposed children at 3, 4, and 5 years of age. In exposed children, IGF-I levels were higher at 3 and 4 years and leptin levels were significantly lower at 1 and 2 years. Exposed subjects showed a much lower correlation between IGF-I and growth parameters than unexposed subjects.

CONCLUSION:

Exposure to ethanol during pregnancy increases IGF-I and IGF-II and decreases leptin during early childhood. The increase in serum IGF-II concentrations in ethanol-exposed children suggests that this hormone should be explored as a potential marker for prenatal alcohol exposure.

Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
20847545
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3068754
Free PMC Article

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