Maternal insulin-like growth factor-I infusion alters feto-placental carbohydrate and protein metabolism in pregnant sheep.Endocrinology 1994; 135(3):895-900E
Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in the maternal circulation may have a role in the regulation of placental function and fetal growth, but its mechanisms of action are not known. We studied the effects of maternal IGF-I infusion (30 micrograms/kg.h for 4 h) in eight chronically catheterized pregnant sheep. IGF-I infusion caused an increase in fetal blood glucose concentrations, but no change in placental or fetal glucose uptake. Maternal plasma insulin concentrations fell. Placental lactate production increased by 56%, with most of this lactate taken up by the fetus. Maternal and fetal blood amino nitrogen concentrations fell, but fetal protein oxidation was unchanged. IGF-I infusion did not change feto-placental oxygenation, placental blood flow, or placental transfer by simple or facilitated diffusion. The metabolic effects of maternal IGF-I infusion in part oppose those of fetal IGF-I. We hypothesize that the balance of maternal and fetal IGF-I concentrations contributes to the regulation of substrate distribution between mother, placenta and fetus, and may thus mediate the nutritional regulation of fetal growth.