Effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone on secretion of thyrotropin, prolactin, thyroxine, and triiodothyronine in pregnant and fetal rhesus monkeys.J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1976; 43(5):1020-8JC
The effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) on the pituitary-thyroid axis and on prolactin secretion was studied in pregnant Rhesus monkeys during the latter period of gestation and in non-pregnant female controls. The baseline plasma concentrations of TSH, T3, T4, and prolactin (PRL) of pregnant monkeys did not differ from those of non-pregnant monkeys. After administration of TRH, plasma prolactin rose to higher levels in pregnant monkeys than in non-pregnant monkeys whereas there was a similar response of plasma TSH, T4 and T3 in both groups. The baseline plasma TSH was elevated and plasma T3 was decreased in the fetus compared with the mother. Administration of TRH iv to the maternal monkey caused a larger response in the fetal plasma TSH than in that of the mother and was followed by larger increments in plasma T4 and T3 concentrations in the fetuses than in the mothers. The larger increments of plasma TSH and thyroid hormones in the fetus compared with the mother also occurred when TRH was given iv to the fetus. There was a significant rise of plasma prolactin in both mother and fetus after administration of TRH to mother or fetus; the increase of plasma PRL was much higher in the mother than in the fetus. The data show that TRH can cross the primate placenta in either the maternal to fetal or fetal to maternal direction. The fetal thyroid of the Rhesus monkey during the latter period of gestation can release both T4 and T3 in response to TSH.