Objective: Skeletal abnormalities are one of the hallmarks of growth delay during gestation. The aim of this study was to determine changes induced by leptin in skeletal growth and development in a rat model of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and to elucidate the possible underlying mechanisms. Methods: Intrauterine growth retardation was induced prepartum and the effects of leptin to mothers prenatally or to offspring postnatally were studied. Radii were harvested and tested mechanically and structurally. Tibias were evaluated for growth-plate morphometry. Results: On day 40 postpartum, total bone length and mineral density and tibial growth-plate width and numbers of cells within its zones of offspring treated with leptin were significantly greater than in the control group. Conclusion: Postnatal leptin administration in an IUGR model improves the structural properties and elongation rate of bone. These findings could pave the way to preventing some phenotypic presentations of IUGR.
- Intrauterine growth retardation
- Mechanical testing
- Microcomputed tomography
- Rat model