Author(s): Briana DD, MalamitsiPuchner A
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Abstract Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is the failure of the fetus to achieve his/her intrinsic growth potential, due to anatomical and/or functional disorders and diseases in the feto-placental-maternal unit. IUGR results in significant perinatal and long-term complications, including the development of insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome in adulthood. The thrifty phenotype hypothesis holds that intrauterine malnutrition leads to an adaptive response that alters the fetal metabolic and hormonal milieu designed for intrauterine survival. This fetal programming predisposes to an increased susceptibility for chronic diseases. Although the mechanisms controlling intrauterine growth are poorly understood, adipose tissue may play an important role in linking poor fetal growth to the subsequent development of adult diseases. Adipose tissue secretes a number of hormones, called adipocytokines, important in modulating metabolism and recently involved in intrauterine growth. This review aims to summarize reported findings concerning the role of adipocytokines (leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-6 (IL6), visfatin, resistin, apelin) in early life, while attempting to speculate mechanisms through which differential regulation of adipocytokines in IUGR may influence the risk for development of chronic diseases in later life.
This article was published in Eur J Endocrinol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism