Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/11957
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Type: Journal article
Title: Chronic stress - the key to parturition?
Author: McMillen, I.
Phillips, I.
Ross, J.
Robinson, J.
Owens, J.
Citation: Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 1995; 7(3):499-507
Publisher: C S I R O PUBLICATIONS
Issue Date: 1995
ISSN: 1031-3613
1448-5990
Statement of
Responsibility: 
IC McMillen, ID Phillips, JT Ross, JS Robinson and JA Owens
Abstract: It is clear that the timing of parturition is dependent on a cascade of endocrine signals from an intact fetal hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. What is not known, however is the nature or source of the central neural stimulation which results in the stimulation of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) synthesis and secretion in late gestation. The changes which occur in the synthesis and posttranslational processing of the ACTH precursor, proopiomelanocortin (POMC), in the fetal anterior pituitary before birth and the consequence of these changes for expression of the corticosteroidogenic enzymes in the fetal adrenal are described in this review. Evidence for the functional heterogeneity of corticotrophic cell types in the fetal sheep pituitary and the proposal that there is a maturational change in the populations of corticotrophic cells in late gestation are discussed. Finally, the development of cortisol negative feedback in the late gestation fetal hypothalamo-pituitary axis and the relevance of chronic stress to the timing of parturition are also dicussed.
Keywords: Hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal, fetus, proopiomelanocortin, ACTH, cortisol, corticotrophin-releasing factor, arginine vasopressin, hypoglycaemia, corticotroph
Rights: © CSIRO 1995
RMID: 0030004077
DOI: 10.1071/RD9950499
Appears in Collections:Physiology publications

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