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Pre-eclampsia is a principal cause of maternal morbidity and mortality, affecting 5-10% of first pregnancies worldwide. Manifestations include increased blood pressure, proteinuria, coagulopathy and peripheral and cerebral oedema. Although the aetiology and pathogenesis remain to be elucidated, the placenta is undoubtedly involved, as termination of(More)
We report the existence of a 'placental clock', which is active from an early stage in human pregnancy and determines the length of gestation and the timing of parturition and delivery. Using a prospective, longitudinal cohort study of 485 pregnant women we have demonstrated that placental secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is a marker of(More)
In pregnancy, maternal plasma corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) concentrations rise substantially in the third trimester and fall rapidly post-partum. A binding protein (BP) specific for CRH exists in the human circulation which inactivates CRH, thus possibly explaining why maternal ACTH does not rise outside normal limits throughout gestation. We here(More)
CRF circulates in high concentration in pregnant woman. It is produced by the placenta and the other intrauterine tissues (maternal decidua, amnion, and chorion). Recently, a CRF-binding protein (CRF-BP) has been identified and cloned. It binds the circulating CRF, reducing its biological action during pregnancy. Liver is the major source of CRF-BP. The aim(More)
Although the lack of ACTH releasing activity of the high peripheral plasma levels of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) of human placental origin can now be accounted for by the action of a specific sequestering plasma binding protein (pBP), there are many regions of the brain where the BP is found with little or no overlap with CRF. The existence of a(More)
The adrenal gland requires stimuli from peptides derived from the ACTH precursor, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), to maintain its tonic state. Studies have proposed that a specific postsecretional cleavage of the nonmitogenic N-terminal 16 kDa fragment, also known as pro-gamma-melanotropin (pro-gamma-MSH), is required, releasing shorter fragments that promote(More)
Tachykinin dogma has assumed, so far, that neurokinin B (NKB) is a neuropeptide that is not produced in any peripheral tissue even though its endogenous receptor, NK3, has been found in a number of locations throughout the human body. We have found an abundant source of peripheral NKB in the human and rat placenta. In this review we describe the discovery(More)
Late in the last trimester of human pregnancy, as plasma CRH levels rise, the concentration of circulating CRH-binding protein (CRH-BP) falls. We have investigated, using nonpregnant subjects, the hypothesis that CRH has a negative effect on plasma levels of CRH-BP. A specific RIA developed with the aid of recombinant binding protein has been used to(More)
Neurokinin (NK) B is a member of the tachykinin family of neurotransmitters, exerting hypotensive or hypertensive effects in the mammalian vasculature through synaptic release from peripheral neurons, according to either NK(1) and NK(2) or NK(3) receptor subtype expression, respectively. There is recent evidence that NKB is expressed by the(More)
Previously the function of hormone binding proteins has been viewed entirely as one of either sequestering ligand activity or of delivering ligand to target tissues. However, some binding proteins have the ability when complexed with ligand to interact directly with target tissues and can undergo considerable post-translational and post-secretional(More)