Roles of glucocorticoids in human parturition

A controversial fact?

X. Q. Li, P. Zhu, Leslie Myatt, K. Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pivotal role of glucocorticoids in the initiation of parturition has been very well documented in several domestic mammalian animal species. However the role of glucocorticoids in human parturition remains controversial mainly because of the absence of effect of synthetic glucocorticoids, given to promote fetal organ maturation in pregnant women with threatened preterm delivery, on the length of gestation. This article will review studies of glucocorticoids in human parturition and provide evidence for an important role of glucocorticoids in human parturition as well but a simultaneous high concentration of estrogen within the intrauterine tissues may be necessary for GCs to initiate parturition. The synthetic GCs dexamethasone and betamethasone pass through the placenta intact resulting in potent negative feedback on the fetal HPA axis and diminished production of DHEA from fetal adrenal glands for estrogen synthesis by the placenta. This may negate the effect of systemic administration of GCs on the induction of labor, especially in cases where the myometrium is not yet fully primed by estrogen. Endogenous glucocorticoids are inactivated by the placental 11β-HSD2 thus limiting the negative feedback of maternal cortisol on the fetal HPA axis and allowing the simultaneous rise of cortisol and estrogen levels towards the end of gestation. Therefore, endogenous glucocorticoids, particularly glucocorticoids produced locally in the intrauterine tissues may play an important role in parturition in humans by enhancing prostaglandin production in the fetal membranes and stimulating estrogen and CRH production in the placenta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
JournalPlacenta
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Glucocorticoids
Parturition
Estrogens
Placenta
Hydrocortisone
Induced Labor
Extraembryonic Membranes
Betamethasone
Pregnancy
Dehydroepiandrosterone
Myometrium
Domestic Animals
Adrenal Glands
Dexamethasone
Prostaglandins
Pregnant Women
Mothers

Keywords

  • Estrogen
  • Fetal membranes
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Parturition
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Roles of glucocorticoids in human parturition : A controversial fact? / Li, X. Q.; Zhu, P.; Myatt, Leslie; Sun, K.

In: Placenta, Vol. 35, No. 5, 2014, p. 291-296.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Li, X. Q. ; Zhu, P. ; Myatt, Leslie ; Sun, K. / Roles of glucocorticoids in human parturition : A controversial fact?. In: Placenta. 2014 ; Vol. 35, No. 5. pp. 291-296.
@article{f4cada60f6044656b9580dd73880d4e0,
title = "Roles of glucocorticoids in human parturition: A controversial fact?",
abstract = "The pivotal role of glucocorticoids in the initiation of parturition has been very well documented in several domestic mammalian animal species. However the role of glucocorticoids in human parturition remains controversial mainly because of the absence of effect of synthetic glucocorticoids, given to promote fetal organ maturation in pregnant women with threatened preterm delivery, on the length of gestation. This article will review studies of glucocorticoids in human parturition and provide evidence for an important role of glucocorticoids in human parturition as well but a simultaneous high concentration of estrogen within the intrauterine tissues may be necessary for GCs to initiate parturition. The synthetic GCs dexamethasone and betamethasone pass through the placenta intact resulting in potent negative feedback on the fetal HPA axis and diminished production of DHEA from fetal adrenal glands for estrogen synthesis by the placenta. This may negate the effect of systemic administration of GCs on the induction of labor, especially in cases where the myometrium is not yet fully primed by estrogen. Endogenous glucocorticoids are inactivated by the placental 11β-HSD2 thus limiting the negative feedback of maternal cortisol on the fetal HPA axis and allowing the simultaneous rise of cortisol and estrogen levels towards the end of gestation. Therefore, endogenous glucocorticoids, particularly glucocorticoids produced locally in the intrauterine tissues may play an important role in parturition in humans by enhancing prostaglandin production in the fetal membranes and stimulating estrogen and CRH production in the placenta.",
keywords = "Estrogen, Fetal membranes, Glucocorticoids, Parturition, Placenta",
author = "Li, {X. Q.} and P. Zhu and Leslie Myatt and K. Sun",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1016/j.placenta.2014.03.005",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "35",
pages = "291--296",
journal = "Placenta",
issn = "0143-4004",
publisher = "W.B. Saunders Ltd",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Roles of glucocorticoids in human parturition

T2 - A controversial fact?

AU - Li, X. Q.

AU - Zhu, P.

AU - Myatt, Leslie

AU - Sun, K.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - The pivotal role of glucocorticoids in the initiation of parturition has been very well documented in several domestic mammalian animal species. However the role of glucocorticoids in human parturition remains controversial mainly because of the absence of effect of synthetic glucocorticoids, given to promote fetal organ maturation in pregnant women with threatened preterm delivery, on the length of gestation. This article will review studies of glucocorticoids in human parturition and provide evidence for an important role of glucocorticoids in human parturition as well but a simultaneous high concentration of estrogen within the intrauterine tissues may be necessary for GCs to initiate parturition. The synthetic GCs dexamethasone and betamethasone pass through the placenta intact resulting in potent negative feedback on the fetal HPA axis and diminished production of DHEA from fetal adrenal glands for estrogen synthesis by the placenta. This may negate the effect of systemic administration of GCs on the induction of labor, especially in cases where the myometrium is not yet fully primed by estrogen. Endogenous glucocorticoids are inactivated by the placental 11β-HSD2 thus limiting the negative feedback of maternal cortisol on the fetal HPA axis and allowing the simultaneous rise of cortisol and estrogen levels towards the end of gestation. Therefore, endogenous glucocorticoids, particularly glucocorticoids produced locally in the intrauterine tissues may play an important role in parturition in humans by enhancing prostaglandin production in the fetal membranes and stimulating estrogen and CRH production in the placenta.

AB - The pivotal role of glucocorticoids in the initiation of parturition has been very well documented in several domestic mammalian animal species. However the role of glucocorticoids in human parturition remains controversial mainly because of the absence of effect of synthetic glucocorticoids, given to promote fetal organ maturation in pregnant women with threatened preterm delivery, on the length of gestation. This article will review studies of glucocorticoids in human parturition and provide evidence for an important role of glucocorticoids in human parturition as well but a simultaneous high concentration of estrogen within the intrauterine tissues may be necessary for GCs to initiate parturition. The synthetic GCs dexamethasone and betamethasone pass through the placenta intact resulting in potent negative feedback on the fetal HPA axis and diminished production of DHEA from fetal adrenal glands for estrogen synthesis by the placenta. This may negate the effect of systemic administration of GCs on the induction of labor, especially in cases where the myometrium is not yet fully primed by estrogen. Endogenous glucocorticoids are inactivated by the placental 11β-HSD2 thus limiting the negative feedback of maternal cortisol on the fetal HPA axis and allowing the simultaneous rise of cortisol and estrogen levels towards the end of gestation. Therefore, endogenous glucocorticoids, particularly glucocorticoids produced locally in the intrauterine tissues may play an important role in parturition in humans by enhancing prostaglandin production in the fetal membranes and stimulating estrogen and CRH production in the placenta.

KW - Estrogen

KW - Fetal membranes

KW - Glucocorticoids

KW - Parturition

KW - Placenta

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84898597784&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84898597784&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.placenta.2014.03.005

DO - 10.1016/j.placenta.2014.03.005

M3 - Article

VL - 35

SP - 291

EP - 296

JO - Placenta

JF - Placenta

SN - 0143-4004

IS - 5

ER -