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Fig. 5 | BMC Medicine

Fig. 5

From: The human fetal adrenal produces cortisol but no detectable aldosterone throughout the second trimester

Fig. 5

Expression levels of key mRNA transcripts in the human fetal adrenal and fetal kidney during the second trimester. a Overall adrenal transcript levels (relative to housekeeping genes (HKGs)) during the second trimester are shown on a log scale. Data points represent mRNA levels in individual fetuses. b Changes in adrenal transcript levels during the second trimester, due to fetal sex and/or maternal smoking. Expression of CYP11B2 (P = 0.003, n = 56) and HSD3B (P = 0.004, n = 58) increased between 12 and 19 weeks of gestation, while POR (P = 0.03, n = 60) increased during the initial phase of the trimester. Other transcripts did not change significantly during the second trimester. Black lines show the generalized linear regression, and grey fill denotes the confidence interval (0.95) around the regression. Levels of SULT2A1 were significantly different between male and female fetuses, P = 0.04 (n = 58), but there was no effect of maternal smoking (not shown). Maternal smoking was associated with increased levels of the transcription factor GATA6 (P < 0.001; n = 56) in both male and female fetuses and increased levels of NR5A1 (P = 0.04; n = 58) in male fetuses compared to control males. There were no other effects of age or smoking on transcript levels. CF control females, SF smoke-exposed females, CM control males, SM smoke-exposed males. c Transcript levels of the mineralocorticoid receptor NR3C2 in the human fetal kidney (n = 56; from 7 to 20 weeks of gestation). NR3C2 transcript expression did not differ significantly due to fetal age or sex, or maternal smoking. In all datasets, the horizontal line corresponds to the mean expression, and each data point corresponds to an individual fetus

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