Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Chair of Metabolic Biochemistry

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Ghrelin, leptin, IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and insulin concentrations at birth: is there a relationship with fetal growth and neonatal anthropometry?

Clin Chem 54(3): 550-8

Authors/Editors: Chiesa C
Osborn JF
Haass C
Natale F
Spinelli M
Scapillati E
Spinelli A
Pacifico L
Publication Date: 2008
Type of Publication: Journal Article
BACKGROUND: Insulin, growth hormone (GH), and growth factors (insulin-like growth factors [IGFs] and their binding proteins [IGFBPs]) are known to influence fetal growth and also the synthesis/secretion of the recently discovered hormones leptin and ghrelin. METHODS: In 153 delivering mothers and their offspring at birth, we prospectively investigated the association between mothers' and babies' serum concentrations of ghrelin, leptin, insulin, IGF-1, and IGFBP-3 and neonatal anthropometric characteristics and the growth of the fetus. We also tried to put babies' serum glucose and GH measurements in this context. RESULTS: Birth weight (BW), birth length, head circumference, and ponderal index (PI) were positively associated with cord IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and leptin and negatively associated with GH. BW was independently associated with maternal stature and prepartum weight, birth length with maternal stature, PI with maternal insulin and prepartum weight, and head circumference with maternal ghrelin. Compared with preterm infants whose development was appropriate for gestational age (AGA), preterm growth-restricted babies displayed alteration in GH-IGF axis (increased GH and low IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations), low leptin and glucose concentrations, and increased ghrelin concentrations. In large-for-gestational-age (LGA) babies, leptin, IGFBP-3, insulin, and glucose concentrations were significantly higher in asymmetric LGA newborns than in symmetric LGA and AGA newborns. CONCLUSIONS: We found relationships between metabolic factors, fetal growth, and anthropometry. Intrauterine growth restriction involved alteration in the fetal GH-IGF axis, with relatively low leptin and glucose concentrations and increased ghrelin concentrations. Leptin, insulin, and IGFBP-3 delineated subtypes of fetal overgrowth.

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