Effect of insulin-like growth factor-I during the early postnatal period in intrauterine growth-restricted rats

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Abstract

Background:

Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is essential for perinatal growth and development; low serum IGF-I has been observed during intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). We investigated the effects of recombinant human (rh) IGF-I in IUGR rats during the early postnatal period.

Methods:

Intrauterine growth restriction was induced by bilateral uterine artery ligation in pregnant rats. IUGR pups were divided into two groups injected daily with rhIGF-I (2 mg/kg; IUGR/IGF-I, n = 16) or saline (IUGR/physiologic saline solution (PSS), n = 16) from postnatal day (PND) 7 to 13. Maternal sham-operated pups injected with saline were used as controls (control, n = 16). Serum IGF-I and IGF binding proteins (IGFBP) 3 and 5 were measured on PND25. The expression of Igf-i, IGF-I receptor (Igf-ir), Igfbp3, and 5 mRNA in the liver and brain was measured using real-time polymerase chain reaction on PND25. Immunohistochemical staining of the liver for IGF expression was performed.

Results:

Mean bodyweight on PND3 and PND25 in the IUGR pups (IUGR/IGF-I and IUGR/PSS) was significantly lower than that of the control pups. Serum IGF-I and hepatic Igf-ir mRNA in the IUGR pups were significantly lower than those in the control pups. In the IUGR/IGF-I group, hepatic Igfbp3 mRNA and liver immunohistochemical staining were increased. In the IUGR/PSS and control pups, there were no significant differences between these two groups in serum IGFBP3 and IGFBP5, hepatic Igf-i and Igfbp-5 mRNA, or brain Igf mRNA.

Conclusions:

No benefits on body and brain weight gain but an effective increase in hepatic IGFBP-3 was observed after treatment with 2 mg/kg rhIGF-I during the early postnatal period.

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