Antenatal glucocorticoids reduce growth in appropriately grown and growth-restricted ovine fetuses in a sex-specific manner

Miller, S, Sutherland, A, Supramaniam, V, Walker, D, Jenkin, G and Wallace, E 2012, 'Antenatal glucocorticoids reduce growth in appropriately grown and growth-restricted ovine fetuses in a sex-specific manner', Reproduction, Fertility and Development, vol. 24, pp. 753-758.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Antenatal glucocorticoids reduce growth in appropriately grown and growth-restricted ovine fetuses in a sex-specific manner
Author(s) Miller, S
Sutherland, A
Supramaniam, V
Walker, D
Jenkin, G
Wallace, E
Year 2012
Journal name Reproduction, Fertility and Development
Volume number 24
Start page 753
End page 758
Total pages 6
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Abstract Antenatal glucocorticoids are administered to mature the fetal lungs before preterm birth. Glucocorticoids also have non-pulmonary effects, including reducing fetal body and brain growth. The present study examined whether glucocorticoid administration has a sex-specific effect on growth in appropriately grown (control) and intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) fetal sheep. IUGR was induced at 0.7 gestation in fetal sheep by single umbilical artery ligation. On Days 5 and 6 after surgery, IUGR or control fetuses were exposed to the synthetic glucocorticoid betamethasone (BM; 11.4 mg) or saline via intramuscular maternal administration. On Day 7, a postmortem was conducted to determine fetal sex and weight. Compared with control fetuses, the birthweight of male and female IUGR fetuses was significantly reduced (by 18.5 ± 4.4% (P = 0.002) and 21.7 ± 6.0% (P = 0.001), respectively). Maternal administration of BM significantly reduced bodyweight in both control and IUGR fetuses (by 11.3 ± 2.8% and 20.5 ± 3.6% in control male and female fetuses, respectively; and by 22.9 ± 3.1% and 38.3 ± 3.4% in IUGR male and female fetuses, respectively; P < 0.001 for all, versus control + saline) fetuses. In control and IUGR animals the degree of growth restriction was greater in females than males (P < 0.05) following administration of BM. These data suggest that antenatal glucocorticoids reduce fetal growth in a sex-specific manner, with females more growth restricted than males.
Subject Foetal Development and Medicine
Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
Endocrinology
Keyword(s) betamethasone
fetal growth
intrauterine growth restriction
Copyright notice © CSIRO 2012
ISSN 1031-3613
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