Effect of chronic infusion of placental lactogen on ovine fetal growth in late gestation

P. A. Schoknecht, M. A. McGuire, W. S. Cohick, W. B. Currie, A. W. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

To test the hypothesis that placental lactogen (PL) is a humoral regulator of fetal growth, six singleton sheep fetuses received a continuous intravenous fusion of 1.2 mg/d of purified ovine PL (oPL) for 14 d, beginning on Day 122 of gestation. The plasma concentration of oPL was approximately four-fold higher in infused fetuses than in six control fetuses that received a continuous infusion of saline. The circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) concentration was also significantly elevated in PL-infused fetuses (43.1 ± 1.7 vs. 31.9 ± 4.1 ng/ml; P < 0.05). Animals were slaughtered on Day 136, and the placenta and all major fetal tissues were dissected, weighed, and subsampled for chemical analysis. Fetal weight and crown-rump length were not significantly affected by treatment; however, the aggregate weight of the brain, liver, lungs, and heart tended to be larger (85.3 ± 2.1 vs. 79.9 ± 1.5 g/kg fetus; mean ± SE, P = 0.07) and the thyroid gland was smaller (0.18 ± 0.1 vs. 0.26 ± 0.02 g/kg fetus: P < 0.05) in the PL-infused fetuses. The livers of the PL infused fetuses had also accumulated additional glycogen (13.1 ± 1.7 vs. 8.4 ± 0.7 g; P < 0.05). In late gestation, PL within the fetal compartment increases fetal plasma IGF-1 concentration and hepatic glycogen deposition and may affect the growth of several vital organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-528
Number of pages10
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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