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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Acute ethanol exposure in pregnancy alters the insulin-like growth factor axis of fetal and maternal sheep.

Maternal ethanol intake during pregnancy impairs fetal growth, but mechanisms are not clearly defined. Reduced IGF abundance or bioavailability in the fetus and/or mother may contribute to this growth restriction. We hypothesized that an episode of acute ethanol exposure, mimicking binge drinking would restrict fetal growth and perturb the maternal and fetal IGF axes. Pregnant sheep were infused intravenously with saline or ethanol (1 g/kg maternal wt) over 1 h, on days 116, 117, and 118 of gestation (start of 1st infusion = time 0, term is 147 days). Maternal and fetal plasma IGF and IGF-binding protein (IGFBP) concentrations were measured before and after each infusion. Compared with controls, ethanol exposure reduced fetal weight at day 120 by 19%, transiently reduced maternal plasma IGF-I (-35%) at 30 h, and decreased fetal plasma IGF-II (-28%) from 24 to 54 h after the first infusion. Ethanol exposure did not alter maternal or fetal plasma concentrations of IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3, measured by Western ligand blotting. We conclude that suppression of maternal and fetal IGF abundance may contribute to fetal growth restriction induced by acute or binge ethanol exposure.[1]


  1. Acute ethanol exposure in pregnancy alters the insulin-like growth factor axis of fetal and maternal sheep. Gatford, K.L., Dalitz, P.A., Cock, M.L., Harding, R., Owens, J.A. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. (2007) [Pubmed]
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