Transport of steroids between fetuses via amniotic fluid in relation to the intrauterine position phenomenon in rats

M. D. Even, M. G. Dhar, F. S. vom Saal
1992 Reproduction  
In litter-bearing mammals, the course of development of male and female fetuses is affected by the presence of other fetuses of the same or opposite sex located nearby within the uterus. The transport of testosterone between rat fetuses was examined by implanting a Silastic capsule containing [3H]testosterone into the amniotic sac of a fetus at either the ovarian or cervical end of a uterine horn on days 19 and 20 of pregnancy. The amount of testosterone that was recovered from the amniotic
more » ... d of other fetuses 12 h later was determined. The amniotic fluid surrounding the adjacent fetus on the cervical side of the implanted fetus contained three times as much [3H]testosterone as did the adjacent fetus on the ovarian side, regardless of where in the uterus the implant was made. The movement of dye injected into the uterine lumen was towards the cervix. Intraluminal fluid movement may thus mediate the greater transport of [3H]testosterone towards the cervix than towards the ovary. Our findings support the hypothesis that transport of testosterone between fetuses occurs across the fetal membranes via diffusion, such that any fetus (male or female) located between male fetuses receives the greatest supplement of testosterone.
doi:10.1530/jrf.0.0960709 pmid:1339850 fatcat:osgwrsn5kfbfpl6jmywonk4bka