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Endocrinology. 2006 Jul;147(7):3344-55. Epub 2006 Mar 23.

Maternal insulin-like growth factors-I and -II act via different pathways to promote fetal growth.

Author information

1
Research Center for Reproductive Health, Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 5005.

Abstract

The placenta transports substrates and wastes between the maternal and fetal circulations. In mice, placental IGF-II is essential for normal placental development and function but, in other mammalian species, maternal circulating IGF-II is substantial and may contribute. Maternal circulating IGFs increase in early pregnancy, and early treatment of guinea pigs with either IGF-I or IGF-II increases placental and fetal weights by mid-gestation. We now show that these effects persist to enhance placental development and fetal growth and survival near term. Pregnant guinea pigs were infused with IGF-I, IGF-II (both 1 mg/kg.d), or vehicle sc from d 20-38 of pregnancy and killed on d 62 (term = 69 d). IGF-II, but not IGF-I, increased the mid-sagittal area and volume of placenta devoted to exchange by approximately 30%, the total volume of trophoblast and maternal blood spaces within the placental exchange region (+29% and +46%, respectively), and the total surface area of placenta for exchange by 39%. Both IGFs reduced resorptions, and IGF-II increased the number of viable fetuses by 26%. Both IGFs increased fetal weight by 11-17% and fetal circulating amino acid concentrations. IGF-I, but not IGF-II, reduced maternal adipose depot weights by approximately 30%. In conclusion, increased maternal IGF-II abundance in early pregnancy promotes fetal growth and viability near term by increasing placental structural and functional capacity, whereas IGF-I appears to divert nutrients from the mother to the conceptus. This suggests major and complementary roles in placental and fetal growth for increased circulating IGFs in early to mid-pregnancy.

PMID:
16556757
DOI:
10.1210/en.2005-1328
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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