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22 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What are three functions of the placenta?
1.Delivery of nutrients to the fetus
2.Removal of wastes from the fetus
3.Synth of steroid and peptide hormones
How is estrogen produced during the mentrual cycle?
TST is synth by the theca cells and then converted to estrogen by the granulosa cells.
What 2 hormones can stimulate and maintain the corpus luteum?
LH (from the ant pituitary) and hCG (from the embryo)
Describe the structure of hCG. What's its function?
hCG is a a-b heterodimer glycoprotein similar to LH, FSH, and TSH. It binds LH receptors on the corpus luteum to maintain progesterone production.
What role does progesterone play in early pregnancy?
It is secreted by the corpus luteum and maintains the endometrium for implantation and development of the early embryo.
The corpus luteum is important for progesterone production only until 10 weeks gestation. Where does the hormone come from after that?
The placenta takes over synthesis and secretion of progesterone past 10 wks.
What is hCS? Where is it secreted from? What are its functions?
A peptide hormone synth and secreted by the placenta. It increases the energy available to the fetus by decreasing maternal glucose use, enhancing fat mobilization, and it weakly stim milk production.
What are three functions of estrogen during pregnancy?
1.Increases uterus size
2.Induces expression of oxytocin and progesterone receptors
3.Increases mass of breasts and adipose tissue
What are 3 functions of progesterone during pregnancy?
1.Maintains implantation
2.Inhibits myometrial contractions
3.Local immunosuppression
What two things does the placenta lack for the synthesis of steroid hormones?
1.Unable to synth cholesterol from acetate
2.Lacks enzymes for estradiol synth
The fetus is able to synth estrogen precursors but not the functional molecule. Why?
This is probably a protective function that prevents the fetus from accumulating a daangerous amount of the hormone.
What is the major precursor used by the placenta for estrogen synthesis? Where does it come from?
DHEA-S, which is made in the fetal adrenal glands. DHEA-S is converted to DHEA and then to androgens and estrogens in the placenta.
What anatomical adaptation allows the fetus to participate in the synthesis of estrogen?
The fetal adrenal gland has a specialized fetal zone where DHEA-S is synthesized. DHEA-S can be used by the placenta, or converted to estriol by the fetus. The zone regresses before birth.
During pregnancy the thyroid gland increases in size and activity. Why are no symptoms of hyperthyroidism seen?
The liver increases synthesis of thyroid hormone binding protein.
Describe the levels of FSH and LH during pregnancy.
They are low due to supression by high levels of estrogen and progesterone.
What happens to the anterior pituitary during pregnancy?
It grows in size as lactotrophs hypertrophy and increase production of PRL.
Pregnant women are often in a hyperglycemic state. How does this occur and what is its benefit?
There is increased synthesis of anti-insulin hormones. This increases the glc gradient btwn mother and fetus and thus enhances delivery of glc to the fetus.
What substance has been correlated with birth weight?
IGF-II. Similar to IGF-I, but not under control of GH.
What two things increase the risk of rickets in neonates?
Feeding exclusively by breast, low exposure to sunlight.
What hormone has been implicated in both postpartum depression and PMS?
The acute drop in progesterone is thought to play a role in both of these.
What is the "morning after" pill? Name three mechanisms by which it might work.
Synthetic progesterone.
1.Inhibit ovulation
2.Change cervical mucus
3.Change endometrium to prevent implantation.
What is RU-486? How does it work?
A synthetic progesterone antagonist that induces menstruation.