Searchable abstracts of presentations at key conferences in endocrinology
Endocrine Abstracts (2007) 14 P185

ECE2007 Poster Presentations (1) (659 abstracts)

Auxological and IGF system parameters in African in comparison with western countries normal children

Mara Boschetti 1 , Sabrina Piredda 1 , Marilena Sidoti 1 , Eliana Di Battista 2 , Daniela Larizza 3 , Diego Ferone 1 , Antonina Barreca 1 & Francesco Minuto 1

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1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Center of Excellence for Biomedical Research, University of Genova, Italy; 2Department of Pediatrics, Ospedale Gaslini, University of Genova, Italy; 3Department of Pediatric Sciences and IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Italy.


Growth is an integrated process, resulting from the response of cells to nutrient availability and to hormonal status. Nutrients, in turn, are important regulators of IGF-IGFBP system which are critical regulators of growth. Genetic factors seem to be very important determinant of final stature in countries with high quality of life at variance with underprivileged countries where food intake deficiency is critical. The aim of our study was to evaluate the influence of environmental conditions on IGF-I secretion and the role of GH-IGF-I system on the generational trend of stature in a selected population of children living in conditions of low dietary intake. We analyzed the auxological parameters and the circulating levels of the different components of the GH-IGF system in 38 normal African children from Ivorian Coast (NA) and 50 normal age and sex-matched Italian children (NE). The results of this study showed that in Africans the levels of all components of the circulating 150 kDa ternary complex (IGF-I, IGFBP-3, ALS) were significantly lower as compared with Italians (P<0.001). However, molar ALS/IGF-I, ALS/IGFBP-3, and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratios in African children were comparable with those found in Italians.

Clinical and auxological data of children (Mean±Standard error)
AgeHeight sdsBMI sdsIGF-I nM/LIGFBP-3 nM/LALS nM/L
NE 28M/22F 5.0±0.30.3±0.10.2±0.222.4±1.6120.4±5.5300.7±16.4
NA 15M/23F 4.0±0.20.2±0.20.0±0.26.7±0.837.7±3.9123.3±12.7
p0.01n.s.n.s.<0.001<0.001<0.001

In conclusion the levels of IGF ternary complex parameters are maintained higher in Italian than in African children by the higher dietary intake but the molar ratios and the stature were similar in both groups. It seems therefore that an optimal concentration of total IGF-I contributes to the improvement of final stature in generational trend.

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