Relations between maternal and fetal plasma concentrations of placental lactogen and placental and fetal weights in well-fed ewes.

The concentration of ovine placental lactogen (oPL) in maternal plasma varies with litter size and nutritional status, making it difficult to compare these concentrations across studies. In this study, 27 Dorset and Finn-Dorset crossbred ewes with litters of known size and gestational age were used to relate concentrations of oPL in maternal plasma to placental and fetal weights. Fetal oPL concentrations also were correlated to these variables in 12 chronically catheterized singleton fetuses. The concentration of oPL in maternal plasma increased with increasing placental weight across litter sizes ranging from 1 to 3 (r = .716). When expressed per gram of placenta, oPL was greater (P less than .05) in those ewes carrying multiple fetuses. There was no correlation between maternal and fetal oPL in time-matched samples or in average values between individuals for ewes carrying singleton pregnancies. Within the singleton group, placental weight and fetal weight were well correlated (r = .761), as were the concentration of fetal plasma oPL and fetal weight (r = .699). Placental weight plus fetal oPL could explain 81% of the variation seen in fetal weight. These results imply that maternal and fetal oPL release are controlled independently and that fetal oPL affects fetal growth by a mechanism not directly related to placental size.
AuthorsP A Schoknecht, S N Nobrega, J A Petterson, R A Ehrhardt, R Slepetis, A W Bell
JournalJournal of animal science (J Anim Sci) Vol. 69 Issue 3 Pg. 1059-63 (Mar 1991) ISSN: 0021-8812 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID2061238 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Placental Lactogen
  • Animals
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood (chemistry)
  • Gestational Age
  • Litter Size
  • Organ Size
  • Placenta (anatomy & histology)
  • Placental Lactogen (blood)
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal (blood, metabolism)
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sheep (blood, metabolism)

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