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Vol. 73, No. 3, 2001
Issue release date: March 2001
Section title: Regulation of Corticotropin
Neuroendocrinology 2001;73:194–202
(DOI:10.1159/000054636)

Prenatal Glucocorticoid Modifies Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal Regulation in Prepubertal Guinea Pigs

Dean F. · Yu C. · Lingas R.I. · Matthews S.G.
Departments of Physiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ont., Canada

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regulation of Corticotropin

Published online: 4/2/2001

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0028-3835 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0194 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEN

Abstract

We hypothesized that exposure to synthetic glucocorticoid during rapid brain growth (d50–52, birth = 68 days) in fetal guinea pigs modifies hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function after birth, and that this involves changes in central corticosteroid receptor regulation. On the basis of our previous studies, we proposed that this effect is sex-specific. Pregnant guinea pigs were treated with dexamethasone (1 mg/kg) or vehicle on d50–51 of gestation, and juvenile offspring were euthanized at rest or following isolation stress on postnatal day 18. Dexamethasone increased the length of gestation (1.5 days) and altered body and organ (brain, heart, adrenal) growth. Resting plasma cortisol concentrations were significantly elevated in young male, but not female guinea pigs exposed to dexamethasone as fetuses. In female offspring born to dexamethasone-treated mothers, cortisol responses to isolation stress were attenuated. In males, elevated basal cortisol levels were not increased further by isolation. In the brain, hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA levels were significantly lower (10–25%) in females exposed to dexamethasone in utero. In contrast, GR mRNA levels were elevated (10–20%) in males from this prenatal treatment group. Mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA in the limbic system and GR mRNA levels in the pars distalis were unaffected. Pro-opiomelanocortin mRNA was significantly lower (30%) in the male pars intermedia following dexamethasone exposure. In conclusion, prenatal glucocorticoid exposure affects growth and HPA function as well as limbic and hypothalamic GR expression in juvenile offspring, and these effects are highly sex-specific.


  

Author Contacts

S.G. Matthews
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto, Medical Sciences Building, 1 King’s College Circle
Toronto, Ont. M5S 1A8 (Canada)
Tel. +1 416 978 1974, Fax +1 416 978 4940, E-Mail stephen.matthews@utoronto.ca

  

Article Information

Received: Received: September 1, 2000
Accepted after revision: December 18, 2000
Number of Print Pages : 9
Number of Figures : 4, Number of Tables : 2, Number of References : 37

  

Publication Details

Neuroendocrinology (International Journal for Basic and Clinical Studies on Neuroendocrine Relationships)
Founded 1965 by E. Bajusz. Continued by K.M. Knigge (1973–1978), W.F. Ganong (1979–1984), S.M. McCann (1985–1993)
Official Journal of the International Society of Neuroendocrinology

Vol. 73, No. 3, Year 2001 (Cover Date: March 2001)

Journal Editor: C. Kordon, Paris
ISSN: 0028–3835 (print), 1423–0194 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/journals/nen


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Regulation of Corticotropin

Published online: 4/2/2001

Number of Print Pages: 9
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0028-3835 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0194 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEN


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