Ontogeny of insulin-like growth factor-I and -II gene expression in ovine fetal heart

Cecilia Y. Cheung, Donna D. Johnson, Veronica Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Insulin-like growth factors (IGF)-I and -II have been implicated in growth and differentiation during embryonic and fetal development. To examine the role of the IGFs in growth of the fetal heart, we determined the gene expression of IGF-I and IGF-II in the four cardiac chambers of the ovine fetus from 58 to 146 days' gestation (term = 147 days). METHODS: Total RNA was obtained from the cardiac chambers, analyzed by Northern blot, and hybridized to ovine specific cDNA probes for IGF-I and IGF-II. The resulting autoradiograms were subjected to light densitometry, and the intensity of the IGF signals was normalized to the respective 28S ribosomal RNA signals. RESULTS: In the atria and ventricles, IGF-I mRNA abundance was very low throughout the gestational period studied, whereas IGF-II mRNA levels were higher and readily detectable. In the atria, IGF-I mRNA was very low at 60 days' gestation and appeared to increase gradually toward term. Abundance of IGF-II mRNA was high at 60 days, increased further until 120 days, and decreased slightly toward term. In contrast, in the ventricles, IGF-I mRNA increased from 60 to 100 days and then declined moderately at term. Levels of IGF-II mRNA in the ventricles were high at 60 days and decreased progressively to low levels at term. No difference in IGF- I or IGF-II mRNA levels was noted between the right and left atria or right and left ventricles. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that developmental patterns for IGF-I and IGF-II gene expression exist in the ovine fetal heart, and the patterns differ between the atria and ventricles. Further, these gestational trends differ from those for atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) found in our previous studies, indicating that expression of the ANF gene in the fetal heart may not be associated with cardiac growth and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Growth factors
  • cardiac development
  • fetus
  • gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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