Lack of effect of fetal administration of cocaine on maternal and fetal plasma adrenocorticotropin, cortisol and lactate concentrations at 127-138 days gestational age

J. R. Owiny, M. T. Jones, D. Sadowsky, A. Massmann, P. W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Few in vivo studies have been done to characterize the effects of cocaine on the maternal and fetal pituitary-adrenal axis during pregnancy. We, therefore, administered cocaine (2 mg·kg−1) intravenously to 6 fetal sheep at 127-138 days of gestation. There was a transient reduction in fetal arterial pCO2 with a concomitant increase in pCO2 and a prolonged fall in pH (p < 0.05) following cocaine injection. No changes were seen in maternal pO2, PO2 or pH. Maternal adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), cortisol and lactate were not affected by fetal administration of cocaine. Although there was a tendency for fetal plasma ACTH, cortisol and lactate to rise after administering cocaine, the increases were not statistically significant. Previous studies have shown that cocaine administration to the ewe at a similar stage of pregnancy results in increased fetal plasma ACTH concentrations. The results of the present study indicate that cocaine administration to the fetus compromises fetal gas exchange and acid-base balance but the effects on the fetal pituitary-adrenal axis are less pronounced than after maternal administration of cocaine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-163
Number of pages4
JournalGynecologic and Obstetric Investigation
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adrenocorticotropin
  • Cocaine
  • Cortisol
  • Hypoxemia
  • Lactate
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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