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Effects of adrenalectomy on pregnancy length in the rhesus monkey

  • Eberhard Mueller Heubach
    Footnotes
    Affiliations
    Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

    the Department of Obstetrics College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

    Department of Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

    the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York New York, New York, USA
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  • Ronald E. Myers
    Affiliations
    Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

    the Department of Obstetrics College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

    Department of Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

    the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York New York, New York, USA
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  • Karlis Adamsons
    Footnotes
    Affiliations
    Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

    the Department of Obstetrics College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

    Department of Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

    the Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York New York, New York, USA
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  • Author Footnotes
    ∗ Research Fellow supported by United States Public Health Service Training Grant HD 118-5 at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, 630 W. 168th St., New York, New York 10032.
    ∗∗ Holder of Special Fellowship HD44236 of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health. Present address: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York.
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      Abstract

      Duration of pregnancy was determined in 8 monkeys following fetal adrenalectomy at the end of the second trimester. Six female monkeys were delivered shortly before or at the expected date of delivery for this species, while the remaining two were delivered 12 and 49 days late. Three of the newborn monkeys were found alive but died within hours, exhibiting signs of adrenal insufficiency; five were already dead on first observation. Necropsy revealed that four of the five found dead had been born alive. With one exception, the body weights of the newborn monkeys were below the means for animals of corresponding gestational ages. This finding included the animal born alive but after prolonged gestation. Postmortem examination of the newborn monkeys revealed small tissue fragments containing organized elements with cell types microscopically resembling cortical adrenal tissue in all animals but one. These tissue fragments likely represented hypertrophic tissue rests in the adrenal region or implants of adrenal cortical tissue left behind at operation. Thus, labor was initiated at or near term in the majority of instances in nonhuman primates despite the absence of normally developed adrenals.
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