Elevations in S100beta protein in umbilical cord blood have been proposed as a reproducible marker of fetal stress, leading to cell damage within the central nervous system. However, it remains unknown whether fetal S100beta concentrations correlate with established endocrine and metabolic indices of fetal distress. Hence, in the late gestation ovine fetus, plasma concentrations of S100beta, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, neuropeptide Y (NPY), and catecholamines and blood concentrations of glucose and lactate were measured during acute hypoxemia. Under general anesthesia, 5 sheep fetuses were chronically instrumented with catheters and subjected 5 days later to 1h normoxia, 0.5h hypoxemia and 1h recovery. Plasma samples were taken during each experimental period. Hypoxemia induced significant falls in PaO2 with increases in fetal plasma concentrations of ACTH, cortisol, catecholamines and NPY, and elevations in blood glucose and lactate, all of which showed significant positive relationships with fetal plasma S100beta concentrations. Hence, evaluation of S100beta may provide a valuable clinical tool in the assessment of fetal well-being in suspected complicated pregnancies.