Prenatal glucocorticoids can programme postnatal development
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Department of Animal Biochemistry and Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences, Lublin, Poland
Department of Comparative Anatomy and Anthropology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland
Ewa Tomaszewska   

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Biochemistry and Physiology, University of Life Sciences, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland, tel.: 81 445 69 63.
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2011;5(1):7–11
Endogenous steroid hormones play a fundamental role in the prenatal development of important vital systems, but when their concentration is long-time enhanced they have a negative impact on the postnatal physiological processes. Prenatal programming is widely used in the context of the permanent alteration of foetal physiological processes. These are caused by factors acting during a critical period of development called the window of the development. Different factors may programme foetal maturity and enhance survival ability after the birth, and may result in disadvantageous consequences in postnatal life. Many studies have shown a relationship between alterations induced by the impact of the mother during pregnancy on the embryo or foetal development, and many consequences which are observed in their off spring. Synthetic glucocorticoids (GCs) given to pregnant females (experimentally or therapeutically), and the increase of endogenous GCs caused by different stressors, lead to identical changes in the process of foetus development. This review focuses on the impact of the prenatal overload with synthetic glucocorticoids on the postnatal development of both humans and experimental animals. It is not known whether these alterations are transient or permanent after the birth, or if they persist, and the extent to which they may be reversed therapeutically.
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