GLUCOCORTICOID EXPOSURE INUTERO - NEW MODEL FOR ADULT HYPERTENSION

R BENEDIKTSSON, R S LINDSAY, J NOBLE, J R SECKL, C R W EDWARDS

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Hypertension is strongly predicted by the combination of low birthweight and a large placenta. This association could be due to increased fetal exposure to maternal glucocorticoids. Fetal protection is normally effected by placental 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11beta-OHSD), which converts physiological glucocorticoids to inactive products. We found that rat placental 11beta-OHSD activity correlated positively with term fetal weight and negatively with placental weight. Offspring of rats treated during pregnancy with dexamethasone (which is not metabolised by 11beta-OHSD) had lower birthweights and higher blood pressure when adult than did offspring of control rats. Increased fetal glucocorticoid exposure secondary to attenuated placental 11beta-OHSD activity may link low birthweight and high placental weight with hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-341
Number of pages3
JournalThe Lancet
Volume341
Issue number8841
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 1993

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