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Amniotic fluid and umbilical cord plasma corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), CRF-binding protein, adrenocorticotropin, and cortisol concentrations in intraamniotic infection and inflammation at term

Florio, P., Romero, R., Chaiworapongsa, T., Kusanovic, J. P., Torricelli, M., Lowry, P. J. and Petraglia, F. (2008) Amniotic fluid and umbilical cord plasma corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), CRF-binding protein, adrenocorticotropin, and cortisol concentrations in intraamniotic infection and inflammation at term. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 93 (9). pp. 3604-3609. ISSN 0021-972X

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1210/jc.2007-2843

Abstract/Summary

Context: Pregnant tissues express corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a peptide modulating fetal and placental ACTH and cortisol secretion. These actions are modulated by the locally expressed CRF-binding protein (CRF-BP). Objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether CRF, CRF-BP, ACTH, and cortisol concentrations change in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord plasma in the presence of intraamniotic infection/inflammation (IAI) in women with spontaneous labor at term. Design: This was a cross-sectional study. Setting: The study was conducted at a tertiary referral center for obstetric care. Patients: Patients included women in active labor at term with (n = 39) and without (controls; n = 78) IAI. Main Outcome Measures: Amniotic fluid and umbilical cord plasma concentrations of CRF, CRF-BP, ACTH, and cortisol measured by RIA and immunoradiometric assays were measured. Results: In patients with IAI, amniotic fluid CRF (0.97 +/- 0.18 ng/ml) and CRF-BP (33.06 +/- 5.54 nmol/liter) concentrations were significantly (P < 0.001) higher than in controls (CRF: 0.32 +/- 0.04 ng/ml; CRF-BP: 14.69 +/- 2.79 ml). The umbilical cord plasma CRF and CRF-BP concentrations were significantly (P < 0.001 for all) higher in women with IAI than in controls (CRF: 2.96 +/- 0.35 ng/ml vs. 0.38 +/- 0.18 ng/ml; CRF-BP: 152.12 +/- 5.94 nmol/liter vs. 106.9 +/- 5.97 nmol/liter). In contrast, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations did not differ between groups. Conclusions: Amniotic fluid and umbilical cord plasma CRF and CRF-BP concentrations are increased in women with spontaneous labor at term and IAI. CRF-BP may modulate CRF actions on ACTH and cortisol secretion, playing a pivotal role in limiting the inflammatory process and thus avoiding an overactivation of the fetal/placental hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis at birth.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
ID Code:9784
Uncontrolled Keywords:MATERNAL PLASMA, HUMAN PLACENTA, PREGNANT-WOMEN, HORMONE, PRETERM, LABOR, ASSOCIATION, MECHANISM, CYTOKINES, PEPTIDES

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