Effect of Androstenedione Administration on the Maternal Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adreno-Placental Axis in the Pregnant Rhesus Monkey

D. A. Giussani, S. L. Jenkins, C. A. Mecenas, J. A. Winter, J. G. Pedro, D. M. Farber, R. S. Goland, P. W. Nathanielsz

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

To assess the interaction among androgens, placenta, and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis we studied effects of androstenedione administered intravascularly to the pregnant monkey on maternal plasma CRH, ACTH, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), cortisol, and estradiol concentrations. Ten monkeys (128 ± 3 days gestation; mean ± SEM) were instrumented under general halothane anesthesia with maternal femoral artery and venous catheters and uterine electromyogram electrodes. At 137-144 days gestation, baseline maternal femoral artery samples for CRH, ACTH, DHEAS, cortisol, and estradiol measurements were taken at 1.5-h intervals for 7 h starting 2 h before darkness. On the following day, a continuous iv androstenedione infusion (0.3 mg/ kg-min at 0.25 ml/h) in 10% intralipid was started at 0930 h in four monkeys; the other six animals received vehicle alone at the same rate starting at the same time. Maternal blood sampling was repeated 1 and 3 days after androstenedione or vehicle administration. Maternal plasma CRH, ACTH, DHEAS, cortisol, and estradiol levels were unaffected by intralipid. In contrast, androstenedione infusion produced a sustained increase in maternal plasma estradiol and a sustained fall in maternal plasma ACTH, but did not affect maternal plasma CRH, DHEAS, or cortisol concentrations. These results provide evidence for negative feedback regulation by androgens at the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in the pregnant monkey. Lack of inhibition of maternal plasma CRH after androstenedione administration supports differential regulation of hypothalamic and placental CRH by androgens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-614
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrinology
Volume137
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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