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

Amanda N. Sferruzzi-Perri, Julie A. Owens, Kirsty G. Pringle, Jeffrey S. Robinson, Claire T. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3344-3355
Number of pages12
JournalEndocrinology
Volume147
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

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