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Decreased expression of placental growth hormone in intrauterine growth retardation

AuthorsChowen, Julie A.; Evain-Brion, D.; Pozo, Jesús; Alsat, E.; García-Segura, Luis M. CSIC ORCID; Argente, Jesús
Issue Date1996
PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins
CitationPediatric Research 39: 736- 739 (1996)
AbstractDuring normal pregnancy, the levels of placental GH in the maternal circulation increase significantly until 35 wk of gestation. We have previously shown that these levels are significantly reduced in cases of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). To better understand the basis of this observation, we have studied the expression of placental GH in placentas from normal births (n = 6) and births with IUGR (n = 5). In situ hybridization histochemistry was used to determine the mean number of cells per area expressing this message, as well as the mean level of specific mRNA per cell. We have found that the mean mRNA signal level per cell of placental GH did not differ between normal or IUGR placentas. However, the mean number of cells/area expressing this mRNA was significantly greater in normal placentas compared with IUGR placentas (normal 12.8 ± 0.9 cells/unit area, IUGR 4.9 ± 2.4 cells/unit area, analysis of variance: p < 0.004). These data suggest that the decreased levels of placental GH in the maternal circulation in IUGR are not due only to the reduced size of the placenta, but also to changes in the placental tissue which result in a reduced number of cells per area that are capable of producing this peptide.
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