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Theriogenology. 2014 Jun;81(9):1307-11. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2014.02.013. Epub 2014 Feb 22.

IGF-I and NEFA concentrations in fetal fluids of term pregnancy dogs.

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Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Food Science, University of Udine, Udine, Italy.
Ambulatorio Veterinario Associato Dr. Pellegrini-Rota, Almenno San Bartolomeo, Bergamo, Italy.
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.
Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.


Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) play an essential role in fetal growth and development. To date, fetal fluids IGF-I and NEFA levels at term canine pregnancy are unknown and could be related to the neonatal development and breed size. For these reasons, the aims of the present study were as follows: (1) to evaluate IGF-I and NEFA concentrations in fetal fluids collected from normally developed and viable newborn puppies born at term of normal pregnancies; (2) to assess possible differences between IGF-I and NEFA levels in amniotic compared with allantoic fluid; (3) to detect possible relationship between breed body size and IGF-I and NEFA amniotic and allantoic concentrations; (4) to evaluate possible differences in IGF-I fetal fluids levels between male and female puppies; and (5) to assess possible correlations between the two hormones in each type of fluid. The study enrolled 25 pure breed bitches submitted to elective Cesarean section at term because of the high risk of dystocia or previous troubles at parturition. At surgery, amniotic and allantoic fluids were collected and assayed for IGF-I and NEFA. IGF-I and NEFA amounts in both amniotic and allantoic fluids of different breed size bitches (small: ≤10 kg; medium: 11-25 kg; large: 26-40 kg) were detected, as well as the effect of gender on IGF-I levels. On a total of 73 amniotic and 76 allantoic samples collected by normal, viable, and mature newborns, the mean IGF-I concentration was significantly higher in amniotic than in allantoic fluid in all three groups, but the amniotic IGF-I levels were significantly lower in small and medium size bitches when compared with large ones. No significant differences were found in allantoic IGF-I concentrations among size groups. A significant effect of the puppy gender on IGF-I content in both fetal fluids was not reported. Regarding NEFA, in all the three groups, the mean NEFA concentration did not significantly differ between amnion and allantois, but in both fetal fluids, higher NEFA levels were detected in samples belonging to small breeds when compared with medium and large. These data strongly indicated that, also in the dog, a relation between fetal fluids IGF-I and NEFA concentrations and breed size exists. Further research is needed to elucidate the possible role of IGF-I and NEFA in the pathologic conditions related to canine fetal growth.


Dog; Fetal fluids; IGF-I; NEFA

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