Plasma triiodothyronines in fetal sheep: effects of illness and thyroidectomy

Hormone and Metabolic Research = Hormon- Und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones Et Métabolisme
U C NwosuM Delivoria-Papadoupoulos


Plasma 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) and 3,3',5'-triiodothyronine concentrations were measured in fetal sheep prior to death in utero and after thyroidectomy. In six fetal sheep who subsequently died in utero, plasma rT3 concentrations were elevated in all for 2 to 13 days prior to death. There were no consistent changes in plasma T4 concentrations. In two thyroidectomized fetal sheep, plasma T4 and rT3 concentrations fell to low levels. Plasma T3 concentrations remained low and there was no increase in plasma T3 in the last week prior to parturition like that which occurs in normal fetal sheep. Parturition was preceded by the normal increase in fetal plasma cortisol concentrations and occurred at the normal time. These data indicate that plasma rT3 concentrations are increased as a result of illness in fetal sheep and that such measurements may be useful as an indicator of fetal distress. The normal increase in plasma T3 late in gestation is not necessary for the late gestational cortisol surge or for normal parturition.


Jun 1, 1983·General and Comparative Endocrinology·J G EalesS Shostak

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