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Type: Journal article
Title: Effects of increasing gestation, cortisol and maternal undernutrition on hypothalamic neuropeptide Y expression in the sheep fetus
Author: Warnes, K.
Morris, M.
Symonds, M.
Phillips, I.
Owens, J.
McMillen, I.
Citation: Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 1998; 10(1):51-57
Issue Date: 1998
ISSN: 0953-8194
Abstract: We have characterized the localization and the ontogenetic changes in Neuropeptide tyrosine (NPY) before birth and investigated the regulation of NPY expression by cortisol and undernutrition in the fetal sheep hypothalamus during late gestation. Using immunohistochemistry, we have identified NPY-containing neurons in the infundibular nucleus and the internal layer of the median eminence in fetal hypothalami collected between 110 and 147 days gestation. NPY projections were also present in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of fetal hypothalami at all ages between 110 days gestation and term. There was a significant increase in the amount of immunoreactive NPY/g hypothalamus between 87 and 113 days and 131–140 days gestation and a further significant increase after 141 days gestation. The total hypothalamic content of immunoreactive NPY increased significantly between 87 and 113 days and 141–145 days gestation. The levels of NPY mRNA: 18S rRNA in the mediobasal region of the fetal hypothalamus were significantly higher at 145–146 days gestation than at any earlier gestational age between 116 and 141 days gestation. Cortisol (2.5–3.0 mg/24 h) was infused intrafetally between 109 and 116 days gestation. The ratio of NPY mRNA: 18s rRNA in the mediobasal region of the fetal hypothalamus was significantly higher in the cortisol-infused group when compared with the saline-infused control group at 116 days gestation. Maternal, and hence fetal undernutrition, was induced between 110 and 146 days gestation. At 145–146 days gestation the ratio of NPY mRNA: 18S rRNA in the mediobasal region of the fetal hypothalamus was significantly higher in the undernutrition group when compared with control animals. We have therefore demonstrated that NPY is present in the hypothalamus of the sheep fetus before birth and that hypothalamic NPY content and NPY mRNA increase before delivery. We have also found that glucocorticoids and undernutrition stimulate increases in NPY mRNA levels in the hypothalamus before birth.
Keywords: NPY; hypothalamus; fetus.
Rights: © 1998 Blackwell Science Ltd
RMID: 0030004096
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2826.1998.00172.x
Appears in Collections:Physiology publications

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