beta Lipotrophin and beta Endorphin plasma levels have been measured in 35 newborns subdivided in 5 groups of 12, 24, 48, 72 and 168 hours of life, 10 umbilical mixed blood samples were also evaluated. After plasma extraction (3 ml) and G-75 Sephadex column chromatography, the peptides were measured by two specific RIAs. beta LPH and beta EP levels were high in umbilical cord plasma (241.0 +/- 43.3 and 70.0 +/- 8.5 pg/ml respectively). A progressive decrement was then observed until the 72th hour of life (28.1 +/- 13.2 and 8.7 +/- 4.8 pg/ml respectively) but the elevated levels found at 24th hour demonstrate an active synthesis and release from fetal and neonatal pituitary. After a slight and transient decreased activity during the first week of life, the statistically significant increase of both beta LPH and beta EP observed at seven day indicate that at this moment pituitary function is restored.
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