Ontogeny and regulation of corticosteroid binding globulin capacity in plasma of fetal and newborn lambs

P L BallardM M Grumbach


The developmental pattern for plasma corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and unbound corticoids was studied in fetal and newborn sheep. CBG capacity in the fetus increased progressively from a value of 1.6 micrograms cortisol bound/dl plasma at 75 days gestation to 7.1 micrograms/dl at 141 days (n = 249), with a greater rate of increase after 120 days. By contrast total plasma proteins increased by about 50% during the third trimester. There was an accelerated increase in the concentration of both CBG and total proteins with labor, apparently reflecting hemoconcentration. The rate of increase in total plasma corticoids was similar to that for CBG capacity; however, corticoids began their major rise later in gestation (approximately 130 days). The concentration of unbound corticoids was 0.09 micrograms/dl at 115 days and did not increase until after 135 days, reaching a maximal level of 1.87 micrograms/dl on the day before spontaneous term delivery. After birth, CBG capacity decreased from a prepartum value of 11.4 micrograms/dl to 0.6 micrograms/dl at 14 days of age, whereas total plasma proteins were constant. Total and free corticoid levels also decreased postnatally, but at a slower rate than for CBG. The expected rise in ...Continue Reading


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