To investigate the regulation and physiological significance of the steroid binding globulins in fetal life, we measured the distribution of CBG and SHBG in maternal and fetal blood and in amniotic fluid. In spite of high circulating estrogens a highly consistent transplacental gradient was found between mother and fetus: CBG 20.1 ± 3.4 (SD) μg/ml (n=32) versus 82.6 ± 12.8 μg/ml and SHBG 3.0 ± 1.0 (SD) μg/ml (n=62) versus 40.1 ± 9.2 μg/ml. The concentration of both proteins in amniotic fluid was variable at a significant lower level: CBG 3.8 ± 2.1 (SD) μg/ml and SHBG 1.1 ± 0.6 μg/ml (n=27), respectively. During the first puerperal week maternal CBG and SHBG concentrations fell markedly, while the CBG-levels in the new-borns remained unchanged (17.5 ± 5.8 μg/ml) and, in spite of a sharp estrogen decrease, the SHBG-levels increased significantly: (5.6 ± 1.8 μg/ml). These findings suggest, that fetal and maternal CBG- and SHBG-levels are independently regulated. While maternal steroid binding globulins are highly estrogen dependent, the regulation in fetuses and newborns seems to be controlled by other mechanisms. These may be related to an autonomous process which may regulate the steroid hormone activity during this period.
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Sinnecker, G., Lork, S. & Rauschenbusch, A. 161 THE STEROID BINDING GLOBULINS CBG AND SHBG IN MATERNAL AND FETAL BLOOD AND IN AMNIOTIC FLUID DURING THE PERINATAL PERIOD. Pediatr Res 20, 1061 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-198610000-00216