Effect of pulsatile growth hormone administration to the growth-restricted fetal sheep on somatotrophic axis gene expression in fetal and placental tissues.

TitleEffect of pulsatile growth hormone administration to the growth-restricted fetal sheep on somatotrophic axis gene expression in fetal and placental tissues.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBloomfield FH, van Zijl PL, Bauer MK, Phua HH, Harding JE
JournalAmerican journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism
Volume291
Issue2
PaginationE333-9
Date Published2006 Aug
Abstract

We have previously reported (Bauer MK, Breier BH, Bloomfield FH, Jensen EC, Gluckman PD, and Harding JE. J Endocrinol 177: 83-92, 2003) that a chronic pulsatile infusion of growth hormone (GH) to intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) ovine fetuses increased fetal circulating IGF-I levels without increasing fetal growth. We hypothesized a cortisol-induced upregulation of fetal hepatic GH receptor (GH-R) mRNA levels, secondary increases in IGF-I mRNA levels, and circulating IGF-I levels, but a downregulation of the type I IGF receptor (IGF-IR) as an explanation. We, therefore, measured mRNA levels of genes of the somatotrophic axis by real-time RT-PCR in fetal and placental tissues of fetuses with IUGR (induced by uteroplacental embolization from 110- to 116-days gestation) that received either a pulsatile infusion of GH (total dose 3.5 mg/day) or vehicle from 117-126 days and in control fetuses (n = 5 per group). Tissues were collected at 127 days (term, 145 days). Fetal cortisol concentrations were significantly increased in IUGR fetuses. However, in liver, GH-R, but not IGF-I or IGF-IR, mRNA levels were decreased in both IUGR groups. In contrast, in placenta, GH-R, IGF-I, and IGF-IR expression were increased in IUGR vehicle-infused fetuses. GH infusion further increased placental GH-R and IGF-IR, but abolished the increase in IGF-I mRNA levels. GH infusion reduced IGF-I expression in muscle and increased GH-R but decreased IGF-IR expression in kidney. IUGR increased hepatic IGF-binding protein (IGFBP)-1 and placental IGFBP-2 and -3 mRNA levels with no further effect of GH infusion. In conclusion, the modest increases in circulating cortisol concentrations in IUGR fetuses did not increase hepatic GH-R mRNA expression and, therefore, do not explain the increased circulating IGF-I levels that we found with GH infusion, which are likely due to reduced clearance rather than increased production. We demonstrate tissue-specific regulation of the somatotrophic axis in IUGR fetuses and a discontinuity between GH-R and IGF-I gene expression in GH-infused fetuses that is not explained by alterations in phosphorylated STAT5b.

DOI10.1021/jo800879e
Alternate JournalAm. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab.