Endocrine responses of fetal sheep to prolonged hypoxemia with and without acidemia: Relation to urine production

M. E. Wlodek, R. A. Brace, M. L. Cock, S. B. Hooper, R. Harding

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Our aim was to examine the endocrine changes associated with alterations in fetal urine production during 24 h of hypoxemia induced by either reduced uterine blood flow (RUBF) or maternal N2 inhalation (N2). In contrast to RUBF, which caused a diuresis, N2 caused a transient antidiuresis; during both posthypoxemia periods (RUBF and N2), fetal urine production was increased. RUBF, but not N2, was associated with a transient acidemia. Fetal plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP) and atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) concentrations increased during RUBF and were inversely correlated to pH; there were no detectable AVP or ANF responses to N2. Fetal prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) increased during the hypoxemia and posthypoxemia periods induced by both methods, but RUBF caused the greater increase. AVP and PGE2 concentrations were positively correlated with urine production. Fetal arterial blood pressure increased during RUBF but not N2. During RUBF, the increases in AVP and PGE2 concentrations and/or fetal arterial blood pressure may have contributed to the diuresis. During N2, we suggest that low, but increased, levels of AVP may have caused the transient antidiuresis, whereas the diuresis observed during both posthypoxemia periods may have been mediated by elevated PGE2 concentrations and/or increased fetal arterial blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-Renal, Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology
Issue number5 37-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995


  • arginine vasopressin
  • atrial natriuretic factor
  • cortisol
  • oxygen
  • pH
  • prostaglandin E

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