Chronic stress may disrupt covariant fluctuations of vitamin D and cortisol plasma levels in pregnant sheep during the last trimester: a preliminary report

12 Aug 2019  ·  Wakefield Colin, Janoschek Ben, Frank Yael, Karp Floyd, Reyes Nicholas, Schulkin Jay, Frasch Martin G. ·

Psychosocial stress during pregnancy is a known contributor to preterm birth, but also has been increasingly appreciated as an in utero insult acting long-term on prenatal and postnatal neurodevelopmental trajectories. These events impact many information molecules, including both vitamin D and cortisol... Both have been linked to low birth premature babies. Cortisol tends to be further elevated in women, while vitamin D tends to be decreased from their normal levels during pregnancy. One facilitates labor in part by elevating placental CRH, the other by limiting CRH in placental tissue. Both are linked to managing adversity. Studies in large animal models with high resemblance to human physiology are sparse to model the changes induced by such stress exposure. Using an established pregnant sheep model of stress during human development, here we focused on measuring the changes in maternal Vitamin D and cortisol responses due to chronic inescapable stress mimicking daily challenges in the last trimester of human pregnancy. The present pilot data show that chronic maternal stress during pregnancy results in endocrine and metabolic chronic habituation paralleled by sensitization to acute stress challenges. Chronic stress appears to disrupt a physiological relationship between oscillations of vitamin D and cortisol. These speculations need to be explored in future studies. read more

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