Low birth weight in combination with a large placenta predicts human hypertension. The pathophysiological link remains unclear, but glucocorticoid excess impairs fetal growth and leads to offspring hypertension. A key controller of fetal glucocorticoid exposure and local tissue availability is 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11 beta-HSD2). The activity of placental 11 beta-HSD2 correlates with fetal growth in animals and humans. Ethanol abuse and smoking are known to retard fetal growth which may relate to altered glucocorticoid action or dynamics. This study has examined whether nicotine or ethanol modulate glucocorticoid action in the placenta or fetus by inhibiting 11 beta-HSD2, using clonal cell cultures, freshly isolated dually perfused intact human placentas and placentas from in vivo treated rats. No significant effect on the activity of 11 beta-HSD2 by pathophysiologically relevant nicotine or ethanol concentrations was observed. The mechanism of action of nicotine and ethanol relevant to reduced fetal growth requires further study. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|