Back to Journals » International Journal of Women's Health » Volume 5

Excessive gestational weight gain and obesity contribute to altered expression of maternal insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3

Authors Ferraro ZM, Qiu Q, Gruslin A, Adamo KB

Received 7 June 2013

Accepted for publication 31 July 2013

Published 2 October 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 657—665


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Download Article [PDF] 

Zachary M Ferraro,1 Qing Qiu,2 Andrée Gruslin,3,4 Kristi B Adamo1,3,5

1Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 2The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 3Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 4Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; 5Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Background: Excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) increases risk of large for gestational age neonates and subsequent tracking of excess weight throughout the life course for both mother and child. Although the physiological mechanisms underlying these associations are incomplete, the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis has garnered attention for its role in fetal growth and development. Our purpose was to characterize the IGF axis protein expression patterns in mother–infant dyads in respect of excessive GWG.
Methods: We obtained fasting serum samples and corresponding cord blood from eight controls (ADHERE group: ie, those who gained in accordance with 2009 Institute of Medicine GWG recommendations) and 13 exceeders (EXCEED group: ie, those who exceeded Institute of Medicine GWG recommendations). At study completion, we examined protein expression of IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF binding protein (IGFBP)-1, IGFBP-3, IGFBP-4, and hormone concentrations in both maternal and cord blood.
Results: Between-group comparisons were made and revealed elevated maternal leptin (P ≤ 0.05) concentrations in gravidas who exceeded recommendations. There was a significantly higher number of obese women in the EXCEED group (P < 0.05). After adjustment, maternal leptin levels were positively correlated with maternal homeostasis model of assessment for insulin resistance score and excessive GWG (P ≤ 0.01). However, serum IGFBP-3 expression in the EXCEED mothers was greater than that in the ADHERE group (P ≤ 0.05).
Conclusion: These findings provide preliminary evidence suggesting that small deviations in IGFBP-regulated IGF bioavailability arising from excessive GWG/positive energy balance may affect adipocyte differentiation through subclinical insulin resistance.

Keywords: gestational weight gain, insulin-like growth factors, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, pregnancy, insulin sensitivity

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]