Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lack Of Estrogen Causes Miscarriage: Restoring Normal Estrogen Levels Maintains Pregnancy

Date:
March 14, 1998
Source:
University Of Maryland, Baltimore
Summary:
Researchers studying the role of estrogen in pregnancy have found that low estrogen levels caused miscarriages in more than 50 percent of pregnant baboons, primates whose hormones during pregnancy act much like those of humans. The fetuses died before miscarriage.

In a recent study of pregnant baboons–primates whose hormones during pregnancy act much like those of humans–low estrogen levels caused more than half to miscarry. Ultrasound monitoring revealed that the fetuses died before the miscarriages.

Eugene D. Albrecht, PhD, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, presented results of the study at a March 14 symposium on "Fetal Signaling and Labor," at the Society for Gynecological Investigation’s 45th annual meeting in Atlanta.

"Our findings indicate that estrogen plays a critically important physiological role in the maintenance of pregnancy and in fetal viability," Albrecht says.

Albrecht and his collaborator, Gerald J. Pepe, PhD, professor of physiology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, artificially suppressed estrogen levels in 22 pregnant baboons. Seven also received an estrogen supplement that restored levels of the hormone to that of normal pregnancy. Another 20 baboons were left untreated, as controls.

Pregnancy proceeded normally to term in 95 percent of the controls, but only 45 percent of the animals whose estrogen formation was suppressed were able to maintain their pregnancies, Albrecht reports. The other 55 percent miscarried. Monitoring six of the estrogen-suppressed baboons with ultrasound, the researchers found no fetal heartbeat, indicating that the fetuses had died before the miscarriages, he says.

In contrast, all of the animals treated with both an estrogen suppressant and an estrogen supplement maintained their pregnancies, the perinatal endocrinologist adds.

Estrogen’s role in maintaining pregnancy has long been debated. Some scientists point out that women with a mutation in their estrogen receptor have a 50 percent miscarriage rate, indicating the importance of estrogen. Others say the fact that pregnancy has been maintained in women whose estrogen levels were low proves that the hormone plays no essential role in the physiology of pregnancy. Albrecht and Pepe, who have been working for more than two decades to piece together the estrogen-in-pregnancy puzzle, previously showed that estrogen plays at least two vital roles in what they call "the fetal-placental dialogue that goes on during primate pregnancy:" It regulates the production of another essential hormone, progesterone, and promotes normal development, maturation and function of the placenta and fetal adrenal glands. A fetus’s adrenal glands produce cortisol, a steroid hormone that is critical to maturation of the lungs, liver, and other developing organs and tissues.

Their research was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

The University of Maryland trains approximately 56 percent of the state's doctors, lawyers, pharmacists and social workers and the majority of its dentists. In addition, nearly 90 percent of the graduates of the School of Nursing work in Maryland.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Maryland, Baltimore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Maryland, Baltimore. "Lack Of Estrogen Causes Miscarriage: Restoring Normal Estrogen Levels Maintains Pregnancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980314120120.htm>.
University Of Maryland, Baltimore. (1998, March 14). Lack Of Estrogen Causes Miscarriage: Restoring Normal Estrogen Levels Maintains Pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980314120120.htm
University Of Maryland, Baltimore. "Lack Of Estrogen Causes Miscarriage: Restoring Normal Estrogen Levels Maintains Pregnancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980314120120.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins