15-Ketodihydro-PGF2alpha and cortisol plasma concentrations in newborn foals after spontaneous or oxytocin-induced parturition.
ABSTRACT Hormonal changes during early neonatal life play a major role in the physiological processes underlying the maturation of several organs. Since prostaglandins and cortisol are associated with fetal organ system maturation, the aim of this study was to evaluate 15-ketodihydro-PGF(2alpha) (PGM) and cortisol plasma concentrations during the first 21 days after birth in foals born by either spontaneous (24 foals) or low-dose oxytocin (OT)-induced parturition performed after at least 320 gestational days (25 foals) since induction is often considered to be a cause of prematurity. After spontaneous birth, the PGM concentration was significantly (P<0.05) higher at 20 and 30min compared to samples taken several hours or days later, while induced foals showed significantly (P<0.05) higher concentrations at 10, 20, and 30min. Regarding differences between the two groups, the plasma concentration of PGM was significantly higher 10 (P<0.01), 20 (P<0.05), and 30 (P<0.05)min and 3h (P<0.05) after birth in induced foals compared to foals born by spontaneous parturition. It is difficult to determine whether the higher initial PGM concentrations in induced foals is related to higher uterine or fetal PGM release induced by exogenous OT stimulation. Cortisol plasma levels in both groups were higher at birth (P<0.05) compared to the later sampling times. No differences were observed between the two groups indicating that the induction protocol used does not seem to result in premature foals.