Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author: MK Bauer x
  • Refine by Access: All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Free access

MK Bauer, JE Harding, BH Breier, and PD Gluckman

The role of GH in the regulation of fetal growth and metabolism in late gestation is not well defined. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of exogenous GH infusion on fetal growth and feto-placental metabolism in the normally growing late-gestation fetal sheep. Eleven fetuses received pulsatile GH infusion (3.5 mg/day) for 10 days while 12 control fetuses received vehicle. The GH infusion was given as a continuous infusion (2.5 mg/day) plus an additional pulsatile component (30 pulses equivalent to 1 mg/day) designed to mimic the natural pattern of GH secretion. Fetal GH infusion raised the circulating fetal concentrations of GH threefold, but did not change fetal concentrations of IGF-I, IGF-binding protein-3, insulin or ovine placental lactogen. GH-treated fetuses had blood urea concentrations 15% lower than controls (P<0.05) and glucose uptake 18% lower per kg fetal weig! ht (P=0.06). There were no other differences attributable to fetal GH infusion in feto-placental metabolism, placental function or placental blood flow. GH-treated fetuses were larger than controls at postmortem (weight+13%, P<0.01; girth+5%, P<0.01; crown-rump length+3%, P<0.05). However, there were no differences between groups in measures of fetal growth (increment in chest girth and hindlimb length). GH-treated fetuses had heavier mothers and when maternal weight was included as a covariate in the analysis, there was no significant difference between treatment groups that could be attributed to GH treatment. GH infusion to normal fetal sheep does not appear to have a significant effect on feto-placental metabolism or fetal growth.

Free access

EC Jensen, JE Harding, MK Bauer, and PD Gluckman

It has been shown that IGF-I has an anabolic effect in the normal fetus. However, there is evidence to suggest that there may be IGF-I resistance in the growth retarded fetus. Therefore, we investigated the effects of acute IGF-I infusion to chronically catheterised fetal sheep. At 128 days gestation, fetuses underwent a 4 h infusion of IGF-I (50 microg/kg/h). Three groups of animals were studied. Nine normally grown fetuses were studied as controls. Embolised animals (n=8) received microspheres into the uterine vasculature, and animals with spontaneous intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR animals) (n=6) were fetuses found at post mortem to be spontaneously growth restricted. The effects of IGF-I infusion on feto-placental carbohydrate and protein metabolism were similar in our control group to previous similar experiments. IGF-I infusion decreased fetal blood glucose, oxygen, urea and amino-nitrogen concentrations, and inhibited placental lactate production. The same fetal blood metabolite concentrations also fell during IGF-I infusion in the embolised fetuses, but the effect on placental lactate production was not seen. The only effect of IGF-I infusion in the spontaneous IUGR animals was a fall in fetal blood amino-nitrogen concentrations. We conclude that fetal IGF-I infusion does not have the same anabolic effects in the growth retarded fetus as the normal fetus. In addition, the effects of IGF-I were different in the two growth retarded groups. Our data support previous evidence that the growth retarded fetus has altered IGF-I sensitivity, and this may vary depending on the cause, severity and duration of growth retardation.

Free access

J Ehrchen, H Heuer, R Sigmund, MK Schafer, and K Bauer

Cell-cell interactions are important regulatory elements in anterior pituitary (AP) physiology. As model systems to study pituitary cell-cell interactions, AP cells kept either as monolayers or as organotypic reaggregate cultures were analyzed by differential display PCR. We identified six cDNA fragments (osteopontin (Opn), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), alpha(v)-integrin, cathepsin H, lysozyme and O-acetyl GD(3) ganglioside synthase) that showed elevated expression in monolayers compared with reaggregate cultures and the AP. The adenohypophyseal mRNA expression of Opn and CTGF, two secreted signaling substances, was studied in more detail. In situ hybridization histochemistry revealed that Opn mRNA expression is restricted to a subpopulation of gonadotropes whereas CTGF hybridization signals could not be ascribed to any known cell type. Opn transcript levels were downregulated in the APs of lactating rats and decreased when rats received s.c. injections of 17beta-estradiol for 5 days. The mRNA expression was higher in male than in female rats and increased after gonadectomy. CTGF transcript levels were higher in male compared with female rats and were increased in pregnant rats and in rats treated for 5 days with triiodothyronine or dexamethasone. These results indicate that Opn and CTGF may be of physiological importance as local communication factors in the AP.

Free access

MK Bauer, BB Breier, FH Bloomfield, EC Jensen, PD Gluckman, and JE Harding

Intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a major cause of perinatal mortality and morbidity. Postnatally, growth hormone (GH) increases growth, increases circulating insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I levels, and alters metabolism. Our aim was to determine if GH infusion to IUGR fetal sheep would alter fetal growth and metabolism, and thus provide a potential intra-uterine treatment for the IUGR fetus. We studied three groups of fetuses: control, IUGR+ vehicle and IUGR+GH (n=5 all groups). IUGR was induced by repeated embolisation of the placental vascular bed between 110 and 116 days of gestation (term=145 days). GH (3.5 mg/kg/day) or vehicle was infused in a pulsatile manner from 117 to 127 days of gestation. Embolisation reduced fetal growth rate by 25% (P<0.01) and reduced the weight of the fetal liver (20%), kidney (23%) and thymus (31%; all P<0.05). GH treatment further reduced the weight of the fetal kidneys (32%) and small intestine (35%; both P<0.04), but restored the relative weight of the fetal thymus and liver (P<0.05). Embolisation decreased fetal plasma IGF-I concentrations (48%, P<0.001) and increased IGF binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) concentrations (737%, P<0.002). GH treatment restored fetal plasma IGF-I concentrations to control levels, while levels in IUGR+vehicle fetuses stayed low (P<0.05 vs control). IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-2 concentrations were about sevenfold lower in amniotic fluid than in fetal plasma, but amniotic and plasma concentrations were closely correlated (r=0.75, P<0.0001 and r=0.55 P<0.0001 respectively). Embolisation transiently decreased fetal blood oxygen content (40%, P<0.002), and increased blood lactate concentrations (213%, P<0.04). Both returned to pre-embolisation levels after embolisation stopped, but blood glucose concentrations declined steadily in IUGR+vehicle fetuses. GH treatment maintained fetal blood glucose concentrations at control levels. Our study shows that GH infusion to the IUGR fetal sheep restores fetal IGF-I levels but does not improve fetal growth, and further reduces the fetal kidney and intestine weights. Thus, fetal GH therapy does not seem a promising treatment stratagem for the IUGR fetus.