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      Growth Hormone and Growth Factors during Perinatal Life

      Hormone Research in Paediatrics

      S. Karger AG

      Growth hormone, Insulin-like growth factor, Perinatal life, Fetus, Growth

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          Pituitary growth hormone (GH) is present in early pregnancy in the fetal circulation. The concentrations are higher than ever found during life, due to an unrestrained, basal secretion. GH receptors develop around midpregnancy, when they are present in low concentrations, and there is a rapid increase during the first months of life. The function of fetal GH – characterized by a nearly complete GH resistance – is largely unclear: there is only a small effect on longitudinal growth, and the regulation of growth factors is independent of GH. Possibly, metabolic effects of GH on fat and glucose metabolism and body composition are of greater importance. During the first months of life, the rapid fetal (GH-independent, nutrition-dependent) growth decelerates, a process that is partly compensated by the onset of GH-dependent longitudinal growth.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Intrauterine growth retardation and postnatal growth failure associated with deletion of the insulin-like growth factor I gene.

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            Clinical review 68: The endocrine regulation of fetal growth in late gestation: the role of insulin-like growth factors

             P. Gluckman (1995)
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              Spontaneous pulsatile growth hormone release in male and female premature infants

               J. D. miller (1992)

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                July 2000
                17 November 2004
                : 53
                : Suppl 1
                : 50-54
                Section Pediatric Endocrinology, University Children’s Hospital Tübingen, Germany
                53205 Horm Res 2000;53(suppl 1):50–54
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, References: 35, Pages: 5


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