The Role of Growth Hormone on Fetal Development in Utero

  • Zvi Laron
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 27)


The finding that growth hormone concentrations are higher in the arterial umbilical plasma than in the venous umbilical plasma and in the mother’s plasma (1,2,3), (Table 1) suggests that growth hormone is not transferred from the mother to the fetus. This assumption was confirmed by Gitlin, et al. (4) and we have demonstrated (5) that tracer doses of 131I-labelled human growth hormone (HGH), injected into the mother before delivery, fails to appear in the cord plasma. This was further confirmed by observing the levels of non-labelled HGH after injection into women at delivery (Table 2). Moreover, we have found that plasma HGH concentrations in the newborn 1–2 hours after birth are much lower than those on the 2nd or 3rd day of life (5,6) (Fig. 1).


Growth Hormone Body Length Normal Birth Weight Growth Hormone Concentration Birth Length 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zvi Laron
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Pediatric Metabolic and Endocrine ServiceBeilinson Hospital and Unit of Developmental PhysiologyIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyTel Aviv University Medical SchoolIsrael

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