In Erhualian and Yorkshire reciprocal cross F1 pig populations, we examined the mRNA expression characteristic of liver-derived IGF-1, IGF-1R, IGF-2, IGF-2R and IGFBP-3 during the embryonic and postnatal developmental periods (E50, E70, E90, D1, D20, D70, D120 and D180). Our results demonstrated that the IGF-system genes mRNA levels exhibited an ontogenetic expression pattern, which was potentially associated with the porcine embryonic development, postnatal growth, organogenesis and even the initiation and acceleration of puberty. The expression pattern of IGF-system genes showed variation in the reciprocal cross (F1 YE and EY pigs). This study also involved the expression features of imprinted genes IGF-2 and IGF-2R. The parent-of-origin effect of imprinted genes was reflected by their differential expression between the reciprocal crosses populations. The correlation analysis also indicated that the regulatory network and mechanisms involved in the IGF system were a complex issue that needs to be more fully explored. A better understanding of IGF system components and their interactive mechanisms will enable researchers to gain insights not only into animal organogenesis but also into somatic growth development and even reproduction.
Keywords: Expression Patterns; Insulin-like Growth Factors; Liver; Pig.