IGF-1 infusion to fetal sheep increases organ growth but not by stimulating nutrient transfer to the fetus

Our collaborators' new paper about the role of IGF-1 in fetal nutrient availability!

What is it about?

The hormone "insulin-like growth factor 1" (IGF-1) stimulates increased growth in some fetal organs. But growth requires more than activation of pro-growth signaling pathways, it also requires a supply of the building blocks from which cells are made. In this study, we found that acquisition of the nutrients glucose, lactate and oxygen by the fetus from the mom was unchanged by IGF-1, and acquisition of amino acids was actually lower.

Why is it important?

There's interest in using IGF-1 to promote growth in under-grown ("growth restricted") fetuses. This finding suggests that IGF-1 may promote more efficient utilization of nutrients for growth, rather than increasing the nutrients available for growth. This has implications on how IGF-1 might be used to promote fetal growth.

Read the paper at the American Journal of Physiology or find it on PubMed.