Endocrine and fluid-balance responses to amniotic and allantoic fluid loss in sheep

K. A. Dickson, S. B. Hooper, I. C. McMillen, R. Harding

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Our aim was to determine fetal and maternal endocrine and fluid-balance responses to prolonged loss of amniotic and allantoic fluids in sheep. In seven sheep, amniotic and allantoic fluids were drained [379.1 ± 20.1 (SE) ml/day] from 107 to 135.3 ± 0.6 days of gestation (term: 145 days). The results from these sheep were compared with those from seven control sheep. Maternal water intake, urine production, and urine osmolality were not altered by fluid drainage, nor were fetal and maternal arterial blood gases, pH, or plasma osmolalities. Fluid drainage increased amniotic, but not allantoic, fluid osmolality. Maternal plasma cortisol concentration increased with fluid drainage, but material plasma concentrations of prolactin and arginine vasopressin were unchanged. Fluid drainage increased prolactin concentrations in fetal plasma and amniotic fluid, but fetal plasma concentrations of cortisol (hydrocortisone), arginine vasopressin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine were unchanged. Our results show that the fetus is capable of maintaining its plasma osmolality despite prolonged loss of fluid from its amniotic and allantoic sacs and that this is associated with alterations in the production rate and the compositiion of amniotic fluid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R745-R752
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4 28-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990


  • arginine vasopressin
  • catecholamines
  • cortisol
  • fluid osmolalities
  • lung liquid
  • oligohydramnios
  • prolactin

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