A striking inverse correlation was found in umbilical cord plasma between the concentrations of dehydroisoandrosterone sulfate and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol but not high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol or very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol. Dehydroisoandrosterone sulfate is a major secretory product of the human fetal adrenal and the principal precursor of placental estrogen production. The data suggest that the concentrations for LDL-cholesterol in fetal plasma are influenced by the rate of utilization of LDL-cholesterol by the fetal adrenal for steroidogenesis and are not necessarily related to a genetic predisposition for hypercholesterolemia or other lipoprotein disorders.

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