Corticotropin releasing factor immunoactivity (CRFi) has been identified in the plasma of women in the second half of gestation. There are several lines of evidence supporting a placental source for this hormone. Regulation of placental CRFi is poorly understood. In this study, the effect of a long-acting glucorticoid on the release of placental CRFi was investigated. Eleven women in the third trimester of pregnancy had plasma samples measured for CRFi, ACTH and cortisol before and after receiving 12 mg betamethasone. There was a significant decrease in ACTH (p < 0.05) and cortisol levels (p < 0.01) but no change in CRFi. It is concluded that the secretion of CRFi by the placenta is not inhibited by the administration of betamethasone while maternal levels of cortisol and ACTH are lowered. These results suggest that the acute regulation of placental CRFi is distinct from the regulation of hypothalamic CRF.
- corticotropin releasing factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology