Effect of hyperthermia on the plasma concentrations of prolactin and cortisol in the fetal lamb and pregnant ewe during late gestation

D. W. Walker, A. N. Davies, I. C. McMillen

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Exposing pregnant sheep to an ambient temperature of 43 ± 1°C for 8 h was associated with a 1-1.5°C increase of maternal and fetal core temperatures, and a 11-fold and 3-5 fold increase in maternal and fetal plasma prolactin concentrations respectively. Hyperthermia did not change maternal or fetal plasma cortisol concentrations. We conclude that maternal and fetal hyperprolactinaemia may occur in late pregnancy during hyperthermic conditions and that the increase in fetal plasma prolactin is due to either increased secretion or decreased metabolic clearance of prolactin in the feto-placental compartment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-177
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Developmental Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 1990

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