One recent randomized controlled trial showed a significant reduction in IVH with antenatal corticosteroid treatment. Secondary outcome variables reported in the meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials also showed a significant reduction in the incidence of IVH with an odds ratio of (95% CI -). This reduction in IVH is supported by the results of the observational database, information prospectively collected in five registries involving more than 30,000 low-birthweight infants. Since IVH is an important contributor to mortality and serious long-term neurodevelopmental disability, this reduction is a major benefit.
Depression has been associated with impaired mineralocorticoid receptor function, restrained glucocorticoid receptor feedback at the level of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, raised cortisol level and increased corticotropin-releasing factor activity, which may act in concert to induce the signs and symptoms of the disorder. Pre-clinical and clinical evidence suggests that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of these HPA axis abnormalities in depressed patients. Support for this view derives from models using genetically modified animals and/or chronic stress exposure at different developmental stages, although all of the current approaches have to be viewed within their limitations to model the disease. However, both animal and human studies challenging the HPA system show at least some neuroendocrine and behavioural changes comparable to those seen in depression, suggesting that some of the depressive symptoms can be attributed to HPA axis hyperactivity. Moreover, normalization of the neuroendocrine function following chronic antidepressant drug treatment seems to be a prerequisite for stable remission of depressive psychopathology, . that normalization of HPA function is critical for relief of the clinical symptomatology of this disorder.
Corticosteroid derivatives coupled in the C3, C7 or C17 position with a long aliphatic chain were synthesized in order to select a suitable ligand for the preparation of a biospecific affinity adsorbent for mineralocorticoid receptor purification. The affinity of these derivatives for mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) and glucocorticoid receptors (GR) was explored in rabbit kidney cytosol. In this model, aldosterone bound to a single class of receptors with high affinity (Kd 1 nM) and mineralocorticoid specificity. RU26988, a highly specific ligand for GR, did not compete for these sites. The C7 and C17 positions were found to be of crucial importance in the steroid's interaction with the mineralocorticoid receptors, since the linkage of a long side chain in these positions induced complete loss of affinity. Hence, deoxycorticosterone no longer bound to MR after 17 beta substitution with a 9-carbon aliphatic chain. This loss of affinity was not observed for glucocorticoids. The 17 beta nonylamide derivative of dexamethasone still competed for GR. Increasing the length of the C7 side of the spirolactone SC26304 suppressed its affinity for MR. Finally, C3 was an appropriate position for steroid substitution. The 3-nonylamide of carboxymethyloxime deoxycorticosterone bound to MR but not to GR, and therefore constitutes a suitable ligand for the preparation of a mineralocorticoid adsorbent.