Document Detail

Development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the fetus and preterm infant.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12099385     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The development of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the human fetus is a complex process. The feto-placental unit may be responsible for important maturational processes in vital organ systems in the fetus. A late gestational cortisol surge may be important in fetal maturation, particularly maturation of the lungs. Several striking differences exist between the function of the HPA axis in the fetus and in adults, such as a relative deficiency of 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in the fetal adrenal cortex. With the transition from intrauterine to extra-uterine life several changes occur in the function of the HPA axis. In infants born before term, the function of the HPA axis may still be immature at both the central and adrenal level. This immaturity of the HPA axis may be important in the development of neonatal morbidity. The present review describes the development of the HPA axis in the fetus and in preterm infants and discusses the possible role of HPA immaturity in the development of neonatal morbidity.
R J Bolt; M M van Weissenbruch; H N Lafeber; H A Delemarre-van de Waal
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism : JPEM     Volume:  15     ISSN:  0334-018X     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Pediatr. Endocrinol. Metab.     Publication Date:  2002 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-07-08     Completed Date:  2002-12-17     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9508900     Medline TA:  J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  759-69     Citation Subset:  IM    
Research Institute Endocrinology, Reproduction and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenal Glands / embryology,  growth & development
Endocrine System Diseases / physiopathology
Fetus / physiology
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / embryology*,  growth & development*
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature / physiology*
Infant, Premature, Diseases / physiopathology

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