Document Detail

Corticotrophin releasing hormone and the timing of birth.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17127348     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) is the hypothalamic peptide that controls the function of the pituitary-adrenal axis in response to stress. CRH is also expressed abundantly in the human placenta and is present in high concentrations in maternal and fetal plasma during late pregnancy. During pregnancy, CRH derived from the placenta is thought to play a crucial role in the regulation of fetal maturation and the timing of delivery, and CRH has also been implicated in the control of fetal-placental blood flow. Elevated CRH concentrations, as compared with gestational age matched controls, occur in patients in preterm labour. The exponential curve depicting the CRH increase is shifted to the left in women who will subsequently deliver preterm and to the right in women who will deliver post dates. This has led to the suggestion that CRH production is linked to a placental clock which determines the length of gestation. Clinically, maternal plasma CRH concentrations may be useful in identifying women at high risk of preterm delivery and CRH antagonists may be useful in preventing preterm labour. As significant CRH production by the placenta is restricted to primates, future research must take into account the species specificity of the mechanisms regulating parturition. A number of significant gaps remain in our knowledge of the function of this peptide in pregnancy. This review examines the current evidence regarding the role of CRH in human parturition.
Roger Smith; Richard C Nicholson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2007-01-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Frontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1093-4715     ISO Abbreviation:  Front. Biosci.     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-11-27     Completed Date:  2007-08-23     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9709506     Medline TA:  Front Biosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  912-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Mothers and Babies Research Centre, Hunter Medical Research Institute, John Hunter Hospital, University of Newcastle, NSW 2310, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenal Glands / embryology
Biological Clocks
Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / biosynthesis,  blood,  physiology*
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiology
Models, Animal
Myometrium / metabolism
Parturition / physiology*
Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiology
Placenta / blood supply,  chemistry,  metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:
9015-71-8/Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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