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Antenatal glucocorticoids reduce growth in appropriately grown and growth-restricted ovine fetuses in a sex-specific manner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Suzanne L Miller, Amy E Sutherland, Veena G Supramaniam, David W Walker, Graham Jenkin, Euan M Wallace

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-758
Number of pages6
JournalReproduction Fertility and Development
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
Published2012

King's Authors

Abstract

Antenatal glucocorticoids are administered to mature the fetal lungs before preterm birth. Glucocorticoids also have non-pulmonary effects, including reducing fetal body and brain growth. The present study examined whether glucocorticoid administration has a sex-specific effect on growth in appropriately grown (control) and intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) fetal sheep. IUGR was induced at 0.7 gestation in fetal sheep by single umbilical artery ligation. On Days 5 and 6 after surgery, IUGR or control fetuses were exposed to the synthetic glucocorticoid betamethasone (BM; 11.4mg) or saline via intramuscular maternal administration. On Day 7, a postmortem was conducted to determine fetal sex and weight. Compared with control fetuses, the birthweight of male and female IUGR fetuses was significantly reduced (by 18.5±4.4% (P=0.002) and 21.7±6.0% (P=0.001), respectively). Maternal administration of BM significantly reduced bodyweight in both control and IUGR fetuses (by 11.3±2.8% and 20.5±3.6% in control male and female fetuses, respectively; and by 22.9±3.1% and 38.3±3.4% in IUGR male and female fetuses, respectively; P

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