Previous studies have suggested that suppression of fetal rabbit adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) secretion results in impaired development of ACTH-specific adenylate cyclase activity. In order to test this hypothesis we measured fetal and maternal plasma ACTH, cortisol, and corticosterone concentrations in control does and does infused with 0.3 mg of cortisol/hour at 21 to 24 days of gestation. This cortisol infusion regimen significantly depressed maternal and fetal plasma ACTH and corticosterone concentrations but did not change fetal serum cortisol concentrations. These findings further support the hypothesis that fetal ACTH plays a role in the normal development of the adenylate cyclase catalytic portion of the ACTH receptor complex and adrenal differentiation during this critical period of fetal life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology