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The human fetal adrenal produces cortisol but no detectable aldosterone throughout the second trimester

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medicine, February 2018
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)

Mentioned by

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1 news outlet
blogs
1 blog
twitter
14 tweeters

Citations

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7 Dimensions

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38 Mendeley
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Title
The human fetal adrenal produces cortisol but no detectable aldosterone throughout the second trimester
Published in
BMC Medicine, February 2018
DOI 10.1186/s12916-018-1009-7
Pubmed ID
Authors

Zoe C. Johnston, Michelle Bellingham, Panagiotis Filis, Ugo Soffientini, Denise Hough, Siladitya Bhattacharya, Marc Simard, Geoffrey L. Hammond, Peter King, Peter J. O’Shaughnessy, Paul A. Fowler

Abstract

Human fetal adrenal glands are highly active and, with the placenta, regulate circulating progesterone, estrogen and corticosteroids in the fetus. At birth the adrenals are essential for neonate salt retention through secretion of aldosterone, while adequate glucocorticoids are required to prevent adrenal insufficiency. The objective of this study was to carry out the first comprehensive analysis of adrenal steroid levels and steroidogenic enzyme expression in normal second trimester human fetuses. This was an observational study of steroids, messenger RNA transcripts and proteins in adrenals from up to 109 second trimester fetuses (11 weeks to 21 weeks) at the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow. The study design was balanced to show effects of maternal smoking. Concentrations of 19 intra-adrenal steroids were quantified using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Pregnenolone was the most abundant steroid while levels of 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) and progesterone were also high. Cortisol was present in all adrenals, but aldosterone was undetected and Δ4 androgens were low/undetected. CYP17A1, CYP21A2 and CYP11A1 were all highly expressed and the proteins localized to the adrenal fetal zone. There was low-level expression of HSD3B and CYP11B2, with HSD3B located mainly in the definitive zone. Maternal smoking altered fetal plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) (P = 0.052) and intra-adrenal progesterone, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone and 16α-hydroxyprogesterone, but not plasma or intra-adrenal cortisol, or intra-adrenal DHEAS. Fetal adrenal GATA6 and NR5A1 were increased by maternal smoking. The human fetal adrenal gland produces cortisol but very low levels of Δ4 androgens and no detectable aldosterone throughout the second trimester. The presence of cortisol in fetal adrenals suggests that adrenal regulation of circulating fetal ACTH remains a factor in development of congenital adrenal hyperplasia during the second trimester, while a relative lack of aldosterone explains the salt-wasting disorders frequently seen in extreme pre-term neonates. Finally, maternal smoking may alter fetal adrenal sensitivity to ACTH, which could have knock-on effects on post-natal health.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 14 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 38 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 38 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 8 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 6 16%
Student > Bachelor 5 13%
Student > Master 4 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 8%
Other 9 24%
Unknown 3 8%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 12 32%
Medicine and Dentistry 11 29%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 8%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 2 5%
Unspecified 1 3%
Other 5 13%
Unknown 4 11%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 22. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 11 November 2019.
All research outputs
#875,373
of 15,217,566 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medicine
#719
of 2,364 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#32,484
of 366,638 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medicine
#1
of 2 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,217,566 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,364 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 36.9. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 366,638 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them