Ontogeny of Foetal Exposure to Maternal Cortisol Using Midtrimester Amniotic Fluid as a Biomarker

Sarkar, P., Bergman, K., Fisk, N. M., O'Connor, T. G. and Glover, V. (2007) Ontogeny of Foetal Exposure to Maternal Cortisol Using Midtrimester Amniotic Fluid as a Biomarker. Clinical Endocrinology, 66 5: 636-640. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.2007.02785.x

Author Sarkar, P.
Bergman, K.
Fisk, N. M.
O'Connor, T. G.
Glover, V.
Title Ontogeny of Foetal Exposure to Maternal Cortisol Using Midtrimester Amniotic Fluid as a Biomarker
Journal name Clinical Endocrinology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0300-0664
Publication date 2007-05-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2007.02785.x
Open Access Status
Volume 66
Issue 5
Start page 636
End page 640
Total pages 5
Editor J. M. C. Connell
J. S. Bevan
W. F. Young
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject 111401 Foetal Development and Medicine
111402 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Abstract Objective There is increasing evidence that antenatal stress has long-lasting effects on child development, but there is less accord on the mechanisms and the gestational window of susceptibility. One possible mechanism is by foetal exposure to maternal cortisol. To explore this, we investigated the relationship between cortisol in maternal plasma and amniotic fluid, and any moderating influence of gestational age. Patients and measurements Two hundred and sixty-seven women awaiting amniocentesis for karyotyping were studied. Samples were collected between 0900 and 1730 h. Gestational age was determined to the nearest day by ultrasound biometry and time of collection noted to the nearest 15 min. Total cortisol was measured by radioimmunoassay in paired amniotic fluid and maternal blood samples (n = 267) [gestation range 15–37 weeks, median 17 weeks (119 days)]. Results Both maternal and amniotic fluid cortisol levels increased with gestation (r = 0·25, P < 0·001; r = 0·33 P < 0·001, respectively). Amniotic fluid cortisol was positively correlated with time of collection (r = 0·22, P < 0·001) and negatively with maternal age (r = −0·24, P < 0·001). There was a positive correlation between amniotic fluid cortisol with maternal plasma levels (r = 0·32, P < 0·001), which persisted after multivariate analysis controlling for gestation, time of collection and maternal age. The association appeared to be dependent on gestational age, being nonsignificant at 15–16 weeks’ gestation and increasing in strength thereafter. Conclusion This study shows a positive correlation between maternal and amniotic fluid cortisol levels, which becomes robust from 17 to 18 weeks onwards. The results provide support for the hypothesis that alterations in maternal cortisol may be reflected in amniotic fluid levels from this gestation.
Keyword Endocrinology & Metabolism
Endocrinology & Metabolism
Q-Index Code C1
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: Mon, 23 Mar 2009, 22:03:12 EST by Mary-Anne Marrington on behalf of UQ Centre for Clinical Research