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1.  IGF-IR Signal Transduction Protein Content and Its Activation by IGF-I in Human Placentas: Relationship with Gestational Age and Birth Weight 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102252.
Introduction
The human placenta expresses the IGF-I and IGF-IR proteins and their intracellular signal components (IRS-1, AKT and mTOR). The aim of this study was to assess the IGF-IR content and activation of downstream signaling molecules in placentas from newborns who were classified by gestational age and birth weight. We studied placentas from 25 term appropriate (T-AGA), 26 term small (T-SGA), 22 preterm AGA (PT-AGA), and 20 preterm SGA (PT-SGA) newborns. The total and phosphorylated IGF-IR, IRS-1, AKT, and mTOR contents were determined by Western Blot and normalized by actin or with their respective total content. The effect of IGF-I was determined by stimulating placental explants with recombinant IGF-I 10-8 mol/L for 15, 30, and 60 minutes.
Results
The IGF-IR content was higher in T-SGA compared to T-AGA placentas, and the IRS-1 content was higher in PT-placentas compared with their respective T-placentas. The effect of IGF-I on the phosphorylated forms of IGF-IR was increased in T-SGA (150%) and PT-SGA (300%) compared with their respective AGA placentas. In addition, AKT serine phosphorylation was higher in PT-SGA compared to PT-AGA and T-SGA placentas (90% and 390% respectively).
Conclusion
The higher protein content and response to IGF-I of IGF-IR, IRS-1, and AKT observed in SGA placentas may represent a compensatory mechanism in response to fetal growth restriction.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102252
PMCID: PMC4106823  PMID: 25050889
2.  Hormonal profile and androgen receptor study in prepubertal girls with hypertrichosis 
Background
Prepubertal hypertrichosis is a reportedly benign condition characterized by an excessive growth of vellous hair in non-androgen dependent areas of the body compared to the amount usually present in normal subjects of the same age, race and sex. Although this condition is usually considered idiopathic and regarded as benign, it may be very disturbing cosmetically, causing significant patient and parental anxiety.
Method
We performed a hormonal and androgen receptor study in 42 prepubertal girls with hypertrichosis and 29 control girls from 2 to 8 years of age. Both groups underwent a determination of basal LH, FSH, 17OH progesterone, androstenedione, testosterone, estradiol and SHBG, abdominal ultrasound to assess ovarian morphology, and the number of androgen receptor CAG/GGC repeats in DNA obtained from peripheral leukocytes.
Results
The hypertrichosis score was higher in the cases compared to controls. Serum gonadotropins and sex steroids were similar in both groups, but SHBG was significantly lower in the girls with hypertrichosis (71.1 ± 2.9 vs 81.9 ± 3.0 nmol/L, p < 0.02). The distribution of shorter, larger and total alleles was not statistically different between cases and controls. The combined analysis of CAG/GGC, however, showed a significantly higher prevalence of the most androgen-sensitive haplotypes (1–2: <22CAG + 17/17GGC- < 14CAG + 17/18GGC) in girls with hypertrichosis compared to controls.
Conclusions
We conclude that girls with hypertrychosis exhibit AR(s) with enhanced sensitivity, which may facilitate the growth of their body hair.
doi:10.1186/1687-9856-2014-6
PMCID: PMC3998739  PMID: 24745883
Hypertricosis; Prepubertal girls; Androgen receptor; Body hair; Androgen metabolism
3.  Effects of Prenatal Ethanol Exposure on Postnatal Growth and the Insulin-Like Growth Factor Axis 
Hormone Research in Pædiatrics  2010;75(3):166-173.
Aims
To study the effect of in-utero alcohol exposure on the insulin-like growth factor axis (IGF) and leptin during infancy and childhood, considering that exposed children may exhibit pre- and postnatal growth retardation.
Methods
We prospectively identified heavily drinking pregnant women who consumed on average 4 or more drinks of ethanol per day (≥48 g/day) and assessed growth in 69 of their offspring and an unexposed control group of 83 children, measuring serum IGF-I (radioimmunoassay), IGF-II (immunoradiometric assay, IRMA), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) (IRMA) and leptin (IRMA) at 1 month and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years of age.
Results
IGF-II levels increased with age in both groups, but the rate of increase was significantly higher in exposed children, and levels were significantly higher in ethanol-exposed children at 3, 4, and 5 years of age. In exposed children, IGF-I levels were higher at 3 and 4 years and leptin levels were significantly lower at 1 and 2 years. Exposed subjects showed a much lower correlation between IGF-I and growth parameters than unexposed subjects.
Conclusion
Exposure to ethanol during pregnancy increases IGF-I and IGF-II and decreases leptin during early childhood. The increase in serum IGF-II concentrations in ethanol-exposed children suggests that this hormone should be explored as a potential marker for prenatal alcohol exposure.
doi:10.1159/000319706
PMCID: PMC3068754  PMID: 20847545
Fetal alcohol syndrome; Pregnancy; Alcohol abuse; Insulin-like growth factor I; Insulin-like growth factor II

Results 1-3 (3)