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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cannulation in situ of equine umbilicus. Identification by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of differences in steroid content between arterial and venous supplies to and from the placental surface.

Equine umbilicus was cannulated in utero and a series of cord plasma samples removed for analysis. After steroid extraction and derivatisation, gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysis demonstrated large differences in steroid content between the plasma samples obtained from the umbilical artery and vein, the blood supplies leading to and from the placental surface, respectively. 3Beta-hydroxy-5,7-androstadien-17-one, dehydroepiandrosterone, pregnenolone, 3beta-hydroxy-5alpha-pregnan-20-one, 5-pregnene-3beta,20beta-diol and 5beta-pregnane-3beta,20beta-diol were identified as major constituents in extracts from umbilical arterial plasma samples, mostly as unconjugated steroids. Together with 5alpha-pregnane-3,20-dione, these steroids were identified in extracts from umbilical venous plasma samples but at significantly reduced levels to those determined in arterial plasma samples. Oestradiol-17alpha, dihydroequilin-17alpha and dihydroequilenin-17alpha were identified in extracts (mostly sulphate-conjugated) from both umbilical arterial and venous plasma samples, much larger amounts being detected in the plasma sampled from, rather than to, the placental surface. Equilin, equilenin, oestrone, oestradiol-17beta, dihydroequilin-17beta and dihydroequilenin-17beta were not detected in the present studies. Isomers of 5(10)-oestrene-3,17beta-diol together with 5(10),7-oestradiene-3,17beta-diol and its possible oxidative artifact, 5(10),7,9-oestratriene-3,17beta-diol, were tentatively identified only in sulphate-conjugated extracts from umbilical venous plasma samples. No glucuronic acid-conjugated steroids could be detected. The implications of this work in the elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways leading to both the formation of oestrogens and C18 neutral steroids at the placental surface are discussed.[1]


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