Differential effects of maternal ovine placental lactogen and growth hormone (GH) administration on GH receptor, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and IGF binding protein-3 gene expression in the pregnant and fetal sheep.Growth Regul. 1996 Sep; 6(3):123-9.GR
The role of placental lactogen (PL) in the regulation of maternal metabolism and fetal growth is not understood. Both PL and growth hormone (GH) have been suggested as possible regulators of mammogenesis. Our aim was to compare the effects of recombinant ovine placental lactogen (oPL) and bovine growth hormone (bGH) on maternal mammary gland development and fetal growth. Pregnant ewes were treated from day 101 to 107 of gestation with twice daily subcutaneous injections of recombinant oPL (n = 7), bGH (n = 8) (0.15 mg/kg live weight/day) or saline (n = 8). On day 108 of gestation, fetal and maternal tissues were collected. The relative abundance of growth hormone receptor (GHR), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) mRNA was assessed in mammary gland, maternal liver and heart, and in fetal and placental tissues. There was no detectable change in mammary tissue GHR, IGF-1 or IGFBP-3 gene expression with either bGH or oPL treatment. Maternal administration of bGH, but not oPL, during pregnancy caused an increase in maternal hepatic IGF-1 gene expression (P < 0.005). Treatment with oPL, but not bGH, resulted in a significant increase (P < 0.025) in the relative abundance of fetal hepatic IGFBP-3 mRNA. Maternal hepatic GHR gene expression was not affected by treatment. This study suggests that while bGH treatment of pregnant ewes induces characteristic somatogenic responses, oPL treatment does not have comparable effects. However, oPL may indirectly influence the fetal somatotropic axis by altering fetal hepatic IGFBP-3 production.