Short and long term effects of exposure to natural and synthetic glucocorticoids during development

Singh, Reetu R., Cuffe, James S.M and Moritz, Karen M. (2012) Short and long term effects of exposure to natural and synthetic glucocorticoids during development. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 39 11: 979-989. doi:10.1111/1440-1681.12009

Author Singh, Reetu R.
Cuffe, James S.M
Moritz, Karen M.
Title Short and long term effects of exposure to natural and synthetic glucocorticoids during development
Journal name Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-1870
Publication date 2012-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1440-1681.12009
Volume 39
Issue 11
Start page 979
End page 989
Total pages 11
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
1. Glucocorticoids are necessary for fetal development but clinical and experimental studies suggest excess exposure may be detrimental to health in the short and in the longer term.

2. Exposure of the fetus to synthetic glucocorticoids can occur if the mother has a medical condition requiring glucocorticoid therapy (such as asthma) or if she threatens to deliver her baby prematurely. Synthetic glucocorticoids can readily cross the placenta and treatment is beneficial, at least in the short term, for maternal health and fetal survival.

3. Maternal stress during pregnancy can raise endogenous levels of the natural glucocorticoid, cortisol. A significant proportion of the cortisol is inactivated by the placental “glucocorticoid barrier”. However, exposure to severe stress during pregnancy can result in increased risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and behavioural deficits in children.

4. Animal studies have shown that excess exposure to both synthetic and natural glucocorticoids can alter normal development of organs including the heart, brain and kidney. The nature and severity of the organ impairments is dependent upon the timing of exposure and in some cases, the type of glucocorticoid used and the sex of the fetus.

5. In animal models, exposure to elevated glucocorticoids during pregnancy has been associated with adult onset diseases including elevated blood pressure, impaired cardiac and vascular function and altered metabolic function.
Keyword Glucocorticoids
Fetal development
Maternal stress
Birth weight
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 29 October 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 02 Oct 2012, 16:20:15 EST by Bacsweet Kaur on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences