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Cortisol inhibits acth but not the avp response to hypoxemia in fetal lambs at days 123 128 of gestation



Cortisol inhibits acth but not the avp response to hypoxemia in fetal lambs at days 123 128 of gestation



Journal of Developmental Physiology 14(6): 319-324



During acute hypoxemia in fetal sheep the elevation in ACTH concentration in the fetal circulation at days 125-129 is greater than that at term, but similar rises in AVP occur at both times. To examine whether the diminished ACTH response is due to elevated endogenous cortisol, and if there is differential control of ACTH and AVP release in hypoxemia, we infused either vehicle or cortisol (5 .mu.m/min) into fetal sheep at days 123-128 for 5 h days and then during a 2-h period of acute hypoxemia (mean PaO2 decreased 8.2 mmHg) without acidemia. During cortisol infusion, plasma cortisol rose to 40-50 ng/ml, similar to values in term fetuses. In vehicle-infused fetuses, cortisol rose from 2.1 to 7.0 ng/ml at +1 to +2 h of hypoxemia. ACTH rose significantly during hypoxemia in the vehicle-infused fetuses, and this response was attenuated by cortisol infusion. In contrast, fetal AVP rose significantly during hypoxemia both in the presence and absence of cortisol infusion. Fetal breathing movements, and electroocular activity decreased during hypoxemia, and these responses were not altered by cortisol. We conclude that cortisol exerts differential negative feedback on ACHT but not on AVP release during hypoxemia. The maintained AVP response may facilitate cardiovascular adjustments of the fetus to hypoxemia even when endogenous cortisol is elevated, such as near term.

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Accession: 007165368

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PMID: 1966246


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