Gene or placenta as modulator of fetal growth? Evidence from the insulin-like growth factor axis in twins with discordant growth.
Westwood M, Gibson JM, Sooranna SR, Ward BS, Neilson JP, Bajoria RR
Molecular Human Reproduction. 2001;7:387-395.
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Academic Unit of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Manchester, St. Mary's Hospital, UK.To determine whether fetal growth is regulated by placental and/or fetal factors, we measured maternal and fetal concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), IGF-II and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) (total and non-phosphorylated) in dichorionic (DC) and monochorionic (MC) twins with (DC, n = 13; MC, n = 12) or without (DC, n = 13; MC, n = 12) discordant birth weight. In the discordant MC pregnancy, growth-restricted (IUGR) twins had lower IGF-II concentrations (P < 0.001) but similar IGF-I concentrations compared to the appropriate for gestational age(AGA) co-twin. The differences in IGF-II concentrations showed a positive association with percentage birth weight discordance (r = 0.60; P < 0.05) in MC twins. In contrast, IUGR DC twins had lower IGF-I concentrations (P < 0.05) but similar IGF-II concentrations compared to the AGA co-twins. There was a positive correlation between IGF-I concentrations and birth weight (r = 0.47; P < 0.05) in DC twins. Total IGFBP-1 concentrations were higher in both MC and DC IUGR twins (P < 0.05) compared to AGA twins. A negative association was found between total IGFBP-1 concentrations and birthweight of both MC (r = 0.47; P < 0.05) and DC (r = 0.58; P < 0.01) twins. No such differences in IGF concentrations were found between concordant MC and DC twin pairs. The maternal IGF concentrations were comparable between the MC and DC groups. These data suggest that growth discordances of twins exposed to the same maternal environment may be due to variations in either IGF-I or IGF-II/IGFBP-1, depending upon the functioning of the placenta.PMID: 11370625 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]