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Role of foetal adrenocorticotrophin during parturition in sheep


IT is now well accepted that the lamb foetus plays an important role in the mechanisms which initiate its own delivery. This conclusion is based on several experimental observations. Foetal hypophysectomy or adrenalectomy delays parturition1,2; infusions of adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) or cortisol, which is the major glucocorticoid in this species, will precipitate premature delivery when infused into the foetus3; normal delivery is preceded by an increase in the concentration of corticosteroids in the foetal blood4,5 and an increased production of cortisol by the foetal adrenal6.

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REES, L., JACK, P., THOMAS, A. et al. Role of foetal adrenocorticotrophin during parturition in sheep. Nature 253, 274–275 (1975).

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