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

Serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factors and placental lactogen during gestation in cattle. II. Maternal profiles.

This study was designed to examine the effects of fetal growth potential on maternal hormones and lipid metabolism. Sixty beef heifers were inseminated with semen from sires with high (H) or low (L) expected progeny differences for birth weight. Maternal serum was collected at 21-d intervals from Day 85 to Day 274 of gestation. Serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF-II, placental lactogen ( PL), and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA) were determined and correlated to fetal and maternal characteristics. Maternal serum IGF-I declined throughout pregnancy, whereas IGF-II was relatively constant and PL tended to increase. Maternal serum NEFA was low and invariant through Day 211 of gestation when it rose 3.5 times to peak levels at Day 253 and declined at Day 274. PL was positively correlated to NEFA (r = 0.37, P < 0.01), IGF-I was negatively correlated (P < 0.01) to NEFA and PL (r = -0.59, and -0.35, respectively), and IGF-II was negatively correlated to NEFA (r = -0.35, P < 0.01). Dams pregnant with H fetuses had lower (P = 0.02) serum IGF-I and tended to have higher (P = 0.09) serum PL concentrations than dams carrying L fetuses. Additionally, dams pregnant with L fetuses had higher (P < 0.03) serum IGF-II concentrations than dams with H fetuses (175.6 vs. 145.0 ng/ml) during the third trimester. Fetal sex had no effect on any maternal serum parameter. Fetal weight and instantaneous growth rate (IGR) were positively correlated to maternal NEFA and PL and negatively correlated to maternal IGF-I and IGF-II. Independent IGR effects were detected for PL (P < 0.06) and IGF-I (P < 0.0005) concentrations. Maternal hip height was negatively related to serum IGF-I and positively related to serum PL concentrations. Maternal body weight and body condition score were correlated with several serum parameters but were confounded by day of gestation. Correlation analysis of serum concentrations of IGF-I, IGF-II, and PL did not support the hypothesis that PL regulates IGF concentrations.[1]


  1. Serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factors and placental lactogen during gestation in cattle. II. Maternal profiles. Hossner, K.L., Holland, M.D., Williams, S.E., Wallace, C.R., Niswender, G.D., Odde, K.G. Domest. Anim. Endocrinol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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