Concentrations of prolactin in the plasma of fetal sheep and in amniotic fluid in late gestation and during dexamethasone-induced parturition

I. C. McMillen, G. Jenkin, J. S. Robinson, G. D. Thorburn

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Abstract

The concentration of prolactin in samples of fetal plasma and amniotic fluid collected from sheep with indwelling catheters has been measured by radioimmunoassay. There was considerable variation between animals in the concentration of prolactin in fetal plasma which ranged from < 2 μg/l to > 50 μg/l. In five out of eight fetuses which were sampled at intervals throughout the last 30 days of pregnancy, there was an increase in the concentration of prolactin in the plasma before parturition. The concentration of prolactin in amniotic fluid was consistently low (approximately 1 μg/l). Induction of premature parturition by intrafetal infusion of dexamethasone was accompanied by an increase in the concentration of prolactin in one of three fetuses infused. These results indicated that prolactin is present in fetal plasma but that an increase in prolactin in fetal plasma before the onset of parturition does not always occur. The low concentration of prolactin in amniotic fluid contrasts with the high concentrations of this hormone found in the amniotic fluid of the primate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Volume99
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1983
Externally publishedYes

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