Moderate food restriction reduces serum IGF-I and alters circulating IGF-binding protein profiles in lactating rats

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The role of somatogenic and lactogenic hormones in the adaptative mechanisms which occur in response to nutrient restriction during lactation is unknown. To characterize the effect of food restriction during lactation on serum IGF-I, GH and prolactin concentrations and serum IGF-binding protein (IGFBP) profiles, lactating dams had free access to food (control) or were restricted to 60% of control intake during pregnancy and lactation (RPL) or only during lactation (RL). Serum, milk and mammary gland samples were collected throughout lactation. RL dams lost body weight, control dams gained weight, while RPL dams maintained body weight during lactation. By day 20, body and mammary gland weights of RL and RPL dams did not differ and were lower than control (P < 0.05). Serum IGF-I concentrations in restricted groups were lower than control (P < 0.05), however, hepatic expression of IGF-I mRNA did not differ between groups in early (day 1) or mid-lactation (day 8) and was increased on day 20 in RL dams compared with RPL or control. These data suggest that serum IGF-I and hepatic IGF-I mRNA expression are not co-ordinately regulated in the food-restricted lactating rat. In early lactation, serum IGFBP-3 was lower in RPL dams than control (P < 0.05), whereas IGFBP-1 and -2 were increased in RL and RPL dams in late lactation compared with control. The decrease in IGFBP-3 and increase in lower molecular weight IGFBP may have contributed to the reduction in serum IGF-I by increasing IGF-I clearance from the circulation. Serum GH and prolactin were measured in samples obtained between 0900 and 1200 h. Serum GH did not differ with the exception of an increase on day 1 in control relative to RPL dams and on day 20 in RL dams relative to RPL and control. Serum prolactin was higher in the RL dams than controls on day 4. In summary, food restriction during pregnancy and lactation or solely during lactation results in similar reductions in serum IGF-I and alterations in serum IGFBP despite differences in body weight responses to food restriction during lactation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-316
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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