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Horm Res Paediatr. 2016;85(2):75-82.

The Relationship of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 2 to Fetal Growth and Adiposity.


Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) is necessary for adequate human growth. Overexpression of the IGF2 gene is associated with fetal overgrowth and may play a role in the intrauterine programming of adipose tissue. As obesity in children is a major public health problem associated with early onset of comorbid metabolic diseases, identifying early life markers of obesity may serve as useful tool for counseling and implementation of preventive efforts before obesity develops. The relationship between IGF-2 and body composition is an emerging field of study and existing data are conflicting. In this review, we discuss the IGF2 gene and its function, highlight the proposed mechanisms for the effects of IGF-2 on adiposity, and examine the current literature studying the relationships between IGF-2 levels, changes within the IGF2 gene, weight, and adiposity. With additional study, IGF-2 may emerge as a useful marker of future obesity risk in infants.

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