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The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in mother and fetus at term
Plasma renin activity, renin substrate, angiotensin II, aldosterone and cortisol were measured concurrently and renin concentration calculated in plasma from mothers during labor and delivery, from cord and from newborn infants. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system was found strongly stimulated in both mother and fetus. The high values of plasma renin activity in fetus were due exclusively to the high renin concentrations the substrate concentration being normal. In the mother, however, the markedly elevated renin substrate resulted in a doubling of relative values of renin activity compared to renin concentration. Therefore gradients of renin and renin substrate across the placenta are established, but the resulting renin activity is similar on both sides and the levels of generated angiotensin II are also nearly indentical with a good correlation between these last parameters. Aldosterone is as elevated in mother as in fetus whereas cortisol, due to its binding to transcortin, is twice as high in mother as in fetus. No correlation was found between renin activity or concentration of angiotensin II and aldosterone or cortisol indicating that other factors controlling aldosterone are involved.
Adult Aldosterone/*blood Angiotensin II/*blood Female Fetal Blood/*analysis Humans Hydrocortisone/blood *Labor, Obstetric Pregnancy Renin/*blood
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