Diabetes alters the level of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) mRNA in tissues of postnatal animals, but the impact of maternal diabetes or gestational diabetes on IGF-I mRNA abundance in fetal tissues has not been examined. Pregnant pigs were injected with either buffer or alloxan (50 mg/kg) at day 75 of gestation to induce diabetes. Fetal tissue samples were collected at day 105 of gestation, and IGF-I mRNA abundance (densitometric units/10 micrograms total RNA) were estimated by specific ribonuclease protection assay. Fetal glucose and IGF-I concentrations were increased 166 and 34%, respectively, by maternal diabetes. Maternal diabetes induced an increase in abundance of IGF-I mRNA in fetal skeletal muscle, liver, heart, kidney, and placenta. IGF-I mRNA levels were depressed by maternal diabetes in fetal adipose tissue and brain compared with the respective tissues from fetuses of control pigs. These data indicate that circulating levels of IGF-I and the steady-state levels of IGF-I mRNA in fetal tissues can respond to the metabolic and endocrine alterations occurring during maternal diabetes. The large variation in expression and degree of response among fetal tissues indicates that the fetus experiences tissue-specific regulation of IGF-I expression during development.
- Copyright © 1994 the American Physiological Society