British Journal of Nutrition

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British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 104:842-848 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © The Authors 2010

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Nutritional Endocrinology

Maternal serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and IGF binding protein-1 before and during pregnancy in relation to maternal body weight and composition and infant birth weight

Hanna Olaussona1a2 c1, Marie Löfa1, Kerstin Brismara3, Elisabet Forsuma1 and Annica Sohlströma1

a1 Division of Nutrition, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden
a2 Department of Clinical Nutrition, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Academy, Box 459, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
a3 Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Rolf Luft Center for Diabetes Research, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Article author query
olausson h [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
löf m [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
brismar k [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
forsum e [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
sohlström a [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


Maternal nutritional status, e.g. body weight and composition, is associated with fetal growth. It has been suggested that the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system may be a mediator of this relationship. In twenty-three healthy Swedish women, we studied (1) the relationships before and during pregnancy between maternal serum concentrations of IGF-I and IGF binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) and maternal body weight and composition; (2) interactions between serum concentrations of IGF-I (before and in early pregnancy) and maternal nutritional status in relation to infant birth weight. We found that serum IGF-I during pregnancy was positively correlated with maternal body weight (r 0·47–0·56) and fat-free body weight (r 0·61–0·65), whereas serum IGFBP-1 was negatively correlated with maternal body weight (r − 0·44 to − 0·69) and body fat (r − 0·64 to − 0·76) before and during pregnancy. Women with a lower body fat content (%) before pregnancy had greater increases in serum IGFBP-1 during pregnancy than women with a higher prepregnant body fat content (%). In addition, significant fractions of the variation in corrected infant birth weight were explained by variables related to the maternal nutritional status when these were combined with serum concentrations of IGF-I in gestational week 14 (adjusted r2 0·25–0·44, P = 0·001–0·021), but not when they were combined with such concentrations before pregnancy (adjusted r2 0·11–0·12, P = 0·105–0·121). These results suggest mechanisms by which the IGF system may be a mediator between maternal nutritional status and fetal growth.

(Received June 17 2009)

(Revised December 08 2009)

(Accepted January 04 2010)

(Online publication May 11 2010)

Key Words:Insulin-like growth factor-I; Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1; Body fat; Fat-free body weight; Infant birth weight


c1 Corresponding author: Hanna Olausson, fax +46 31 7863101, email


Abbreviations: IGF, insulin-like growth factor; IGFBP, IGF binding protein