Expression of components of the insulin-like growth factor system in pig mammary glands and serum during pregnancy and pseudopregnancy: effects of oestrogen. Academic Article uri icon


  • To gain insight into the involvement and interactions of the insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and estrogen in mammary growth and differentiation, the temporal expression of mammary mRNAs encoding components of the IGF system in pregnant and pseudopregnant pigs was examined. Pseudopregnant pigs received 5 mg oestradiol valerate or vehicle daily from day 45 after oestrus and underwent mammary biopsy on days 60, 90 or 112. In mammary tissue of pregnant pigs, steady-state levels of the mRNAs encoding IGF-I, IGF-II and type-I IGF receptor as well as the levels of the membrane-associated type-II IGF receptor were higher during the early phase of mammogenesis (< or = day 45) than during the subsequent stages of mammary development. Mammary IGF-I, IGF-II and type-I receptor mRNAs were expressed at their lowest levels around day 90 of pregnancy (20-40% of those for day 30 of pregnancy) coincident with the onset of beta-casein mRNA accumulation. Mammary IGF-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) mRNA levels increased twofold during the latter half of pregnancy, whereas the amount of IGFBP-3 mRNA declined after day 30 to undetectable levels by mid-pregnancy. Pseudopregnant pigs had reduced levels of these mRNAs (except for IGF-II) relative to their pregnant counterparts and this was associated with premature differentiation of mammary tissue as reflected by an earlier onset of beta-casein mRNA accumulation in the former. The administration of oestradiol valerate decreased the levels of IGF-I and type-I IGF receptor mRNAs by day 60 of pseudopregnancy, but the reverse was evident by day 112. Oestradiol administration increased beta-casein mRNA levels in pseudopregnant pigs, but had no effect on mammary IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3 mRNA levels. Mammary IGF content was greater in late pregnancy (> or = day 90) and pseudopregnancy than at early pregnancy. Serum IGF-I and IGF-II levels declined steadily during pregnancy and this was similar to, but not correlated with, mammary IGF mRNA levels, whereas in pseudopregnant pigs, serum IGF concentrations did not change temporally or in response to oestradiol. Serum IGFBP-2 levels were unaltered during pregnancy or pseudopregnancy, but serum IGFBP-3 levels declined after day 60 of pregnancy. In pseudopregnant pigs, serum IGFBP-3 levels did not change temporally, but declined after oestradiol treatment. Results indicate that mammary IGF-I and type-I IGF receptor systems are down-regulated during pregnancy-associated differentiation of this tissue and in response to oestrogen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

published proceedings

  • J Endocrinol

author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, C. Y., Bazer, F. W., & Simmen, F. A.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Lee, CY||Bazer, FW||Simmen, FA

publication date

  • June 1993