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Dynamic Changes in Serum IGF-I and Growth During Infancy: Associations to Body Fat, Target Height, and PAPPA2 Genotype

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CONTEXT: IGF-I is important for postnatal growth and may be of diagnostic value in infants suspected of pituitary disease; however, little is known about the impact of IGF-I and its determinants on infant growth. Importantly, detailed reference ranges for IGF-I and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) concentrations during infancy are lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the rapid changes in weight and length as well as their determinants in healthy infants, and to establish age- and sex-specific reference curves for IGF-I and IGFBP-3 in children aged 0 to 1 years.

DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal study.

SETTING: Cohort study.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 233 healthy children (114 girls) with repeated blood samples during the first year of life.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Serum concentrations of IGF-I and IGFBP-3, length velocity, weight velocity, and PAPPA2 (rs1325598) genotype.

RESULTS: Individual trajectories of length and weight velocities were sex specific. We provide detailed reference curves based on longitudinal data for IGF-I and IGFBP-3 during infancy. In both girls and boys, IGF-I decreased during infancy, whereas IGFBP-3 remained stable. IGF-I and IGFBP-3, but not PAPPA2 genotype, were positively associated with weight gain, but not with longitudinal growth. When stratified by sex, the association between weight gain and IGF-I only remained significant in girls.

CONCLUSIONS: Interestingly, we found a significant association between IGF-I and infant weight gain in girls, but not with longitudinal growth in the first year of life. Our findings highlight the role of IGF-I as an important anabolic hormone that is not limited to linear growth.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)219-229
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Endocrine Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

    Research areas

  • Body Height, Body Weight, Child Development, Female, Genotyping Techniques, Healthy Volunteers, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3/blood, Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/analysis, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A/genetics, Prospective Studies, Reference Values, Sex Factors, Weight Gain

ID: 79440681