Placental IGF-I, IGFBP-1, zinc, and iron, and maternal and infant anthropometry at birth

Document Type



Women and Child Health


Aim:To correlate placental protein levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP)-1, with previously determined levels of IGF-I and IGF-II mRNA expression, and the micronutrients zinc and iron, and maternal and newborn anthropometry.


Placental samples were collected from rural field sites in Pakistan. Samples were divided into small and large for gestational age groups (SGA and LGA, respectively). IGFBP-1 levels were assessed using Western immunoblotting. IGF-I protein levels were assessed using ELISA techniques. IGF mRNA expression, zinc, and iron, were quantified as previously described and were used for comparative Purposes only.


Thirty-three subjects were included (SGA, n = 12, LGA n = 21). Higher levels of IGFBP-1 were seen in the SGA group (p < 0.01). IGFBP-1 correlated positively with maternal and infant triceps skin-fold thickness in the LGA and SGA groups, respectively (p < 0.05). Significantly lower IGF-I protein levels were seen in the SGA group. IGF-I levels correlated significantly with maternal and newborn anthropometry. IGFBP-1 correlated significantly with IGF-II mRNA expression (p < 0.05).


Placental protein levels of IGF-I and IGFBP-1 appear to be associated with maternal anthropometry. Maternal anthropometry may thus influence IGFBP-1 and IGF-I levels and may possibly be used for screening of pregnancies, with the potential for timely identification of these high-risk pregnancies.


Acta Paediatrica