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Growth Horm IGF Res. 2002 Jun;12(3):137-46.

The role of growth hormone in fetal development.

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School of Biomedical Sciences and Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, 4072, St Lucia, Australia.


Studies across several species, particularly the mouse, show that growth hormone (GH, somatotrophin) is an important determinant of litter size, and to a lesser extent, of birth length. GH acts at all stages of development, from ovulation through preimplantation development to the late fetus, with actions on both embryo/fetus and mother contributing to successful fetal development. The fact that these are not more obvious in vivo is likely a result of redundancy of cytokine hormone action, particularly in relation to prolactin, which shares common actions and receptor locations with GH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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