The Effect of Fetal Maturity on the Regulation of Fetoplacental Unit through Cortisol In Nigerian Women

  • G O Ajayi


In this study, we examined the suppression of free plasma oestriol by cortisol in mature and immature fetuses. In group 1 where n = 8 patients in the 32nd week of pregnancy and in group II n = 8 patient in the 38th week who received 100mg cortisol intravenously between 9a.m and 2p.m. Blood samples were taken at 60 minutes intervals respectively. Free plasma oestriol was measured by RIA and total plasma cortisol by the binding method. In group I plasma cortisol increased from 559.93 + 113ng/ml to 1000.5 + 104.792ng/ml, whereas oestriol decreased from 6.33 ± 1.356ng/ml to 3.306 ± 1.433 ng/ml[P<0.001]. After an analogous use of cortisol the oestriol levels in group II in the 38th week were suppressed from 12.4676 + 2.66ng/ml to 5.4 + 0.91ng/ml [P<0.001] The suppression of oestriol in the group II [38th week] markedly exceed that of group I [32nd week]. Our results show that the hypothalamic-pituitary system of mature fetuses exhibits a high sensitivity to the feedback action of cortisol than immature fetuses.

NQJHM Vol. 14 (1) 2004: pp. 51-53

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eISSN: 0189-2657