An autocrine/paracrine role for insulin-like growth factors in the regulation of human placental growth.


Tissue derived from preterm (9-19 weeks gestation) and term (38-41 weeks gestation) human placentae were examined for their ability to synthesize and secrete insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in organ culture. IGF-I was measured by a specific RIA, and IGF-II by a rat placental membrane radioreceptor assay. First, explants of placental tissue were maintained in organ culture. These explants secreted immunoreactive IGF-I (IR-IGF-I). There were no differences in the IR-IGF-I content of media conditioned by term and preterm placentae under these conditions. The similarity of this material to authentic human IGF-I was supported by parallel displacement in a specific RIA and coelution during Sephadex G-50 gel filtration. Second, monolayer cultures of fibroblasts from normal human preterm placentae (15-19 weeks gestation) were established. Confluent monolayers of these fibroblasts secreted IR-IGF-I (3-10 pg/10(5) cells X 40 h). IR-IGF-I secretion was reversibly inhibited by 5.3 microM cycloheximide, suggesting that the IR-IGF-I was the result of de novo protein synthesis. IR-IGF-I secretion was stimulated 5-fold by platelet-derived growth factor (0.6 U/ml). The response of monolayers of placental fibroblasts to IGF-I also was tested. IGF-I stimulated alpha-[3H]aminoisobutyric acid transport in these fibroblasts, with half-maximal stimulation occurring at 2-3 ng/ml. Stimulation of alpha-[3H]aminoisobutyric acid uptake by IGF-I correlated with specific binding of [125I]iodo-IGF-I. Half-maximal inhibition of [125I]iodo-IGF-I binding occurred at 2-3 ng/ml IGF-I. Placental tissue also secreted IGF-II-like activity, as measured by radioreceptor assay. Media conditioned by placental explants contained 15-20 ng/mg protein X 48 h, and media conditioned by placental fibroblasts contained 3-7 ng/10(5) cells X 40 h IGF-II determined by radioreceptor assay. These data support the hypothesis that the human placenta produces IGFs (IGF-II and/or IGF-I) that act locally to regulate placental growth.


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@article{Fant1986AnAR, title={An autocrine/paracrine role for insulin-like growth factors in the regulation of human placental growth.}, author={Michael E . Fant and Hamish N. Munro and Alan Moses}, journal={The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism}, year={1986}, volume={63 2}, pages={499-505} }