Fetal plasma testosterone correlates positively with cortisol

Gitau, R., Adams, D., Fisk, N. M. and Glover, V. (2005) Fetal plasma testosterone correlates positively with cortisol. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 90 2: F166-F169. doi:10.1136/adc.2004.049320

Author Gitau, R.
Adams, D.
Fisk, N. M.
Glover, V.
Title Fetal plasma testosterone correlates positively with cortisol
Journal name Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1359-2998
Publication date 2005-03-01
Year available 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/adc.2004.049320
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 90
Issue 2
Start page F166
End page F169
Total pages 4
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 111401 Foetal Development and Medicine
1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine
Formatted abstract
Background: Fetal exposure to testosterone has been implicated in programming childhood behaviour, but little is known about the determinants of fetal testosterone concentrations.
Aims: To investigate the relation between fetal testosterone and maternal and fetal cortisol.
Methods: Clinically indicated blood samples taken from 44 human fetuses (mean gestational age 27 weeks, range 15–38), together with paired maternal samples, were analysed for testosterone and cortisol concentrations.
Results: Male fetuses had significantly higher concentrations of testosterone than females. Female but not male fetal concentrations rose significantly with gestational age. Fetal testosterone correlated positively with both fetal cortisol and maternal testosterone concentrations. Multiple regression showed that maternal testosterone and fetal cortisol were independently correlated with fetal plasma testosterone in both sexes.
Conclusion: Unlike the norm in the adult, where testosterone production is often inhibited by cortisol, in the fetus there is a positive link between the two.

Keyword Fetus
HPA axis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Fri, 20 Mar 2009, 23:59:04 EST by Maryanne Watson on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences