Published: Oct. 13, 2021

Graduate student in Biological Anthropology, Gabriella Mayne recently published with a team, “Development and validation of an LC-MS/MS assay for the quantification of allopregnanolone and its progesterone-derived isomers, precursors, and cortisol/cortisone in pregnancy,” in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Neuroactive steroids are potent neuromodulators that play a critical role in both maternal and fetal health during pregnancy. These stress-responsive compounds are reportedly low in women with perinatal depression and may be associated with poor pregnancy outcomes in animal models. Chronic stress is a risk factor for adverse birth outcomes. Simultaneous quantification of neuroactive steroids, in combination with stress hormones cortisol/cortisone, provides an opportunity to investigate the synergistic relationship of these analytes within the convenience of one assay. A simple, reliable, and sensitive method for quantifying these endogenous compounds is necessary for further research with the potential to advance clinical diagnostic tools during pregnancy.