Decreased placental expression of hPGH, IGF-I and IGFBP-1 in pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction
Sifakis, Stavros K.
Koukoura, Ourania G.
Spandidos, Demetrios A.
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Objective: The human Placental Growth Hormone (hPGH) and the Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) system are implicated in fetal development. This study aimed to evaluate the expression of hPGH, IGF-I, IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-3 genes in placentas from pregnancies complicated by fetal growth restriction (FGR). Design: The study group was comprised of term placentas from 47 FGR-complicated pregnancies of no recognizable cause. Thirty-seven placentas from normal pregnancies with appropriate for gestational age birth weight were used as controls. The expression status of the genes was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. Results: hPGH, IGF-I and IGFBP-1 exhibited significantly lower expression compared to the controls (p= 0.003, p= 0.049 and p= 0.001, respectively). Numerically, lower IGFBP-3 expression was also demonstrated in the FGR-affected group, without however reaching statistical significance (p= 0.129). Significant co-expression patterns were detected among the study genes in both the FGR and normal pregnancies. Conclusion: Decreased placental expression levels of hPGH, IGF-I and IGFBP-1 were demonstrated in pregnancies with FGR. Whether these alterations are a causative factor of FGR or accompany other pathogenetic mechanisms requires further investigation.