Prenatal Intra-Amniotic Endotoxin Induces Fetal Gut and Lung Immune Responses and Postnatal Systemic Inflammation in Preterm Pigs

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Prenatal inflammation is a major risk for preterm birth and neonatal morbidity, but its effects on postnatal immunity and organ functions remain unclear. Using preterm pigs as a model for preterm infants, we investigated whether prenatal intra-amniotic (IA) inflammation modulates postnatal systemic immune status and organ functions. Preterm pigs exposed to IA lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 3 days were compared with controls at birth and postnatal day 5 after formula feeding. IA LPS induced mild chorioamnionitis but extensive intra-amniotic inflammation. There were minor systemic effects at birth (increased blood neutrophil counts), but a few days later, prenatal LPS induced delayed neonatal arousal, systemic inflammation (increased blood leukocytes, plasma cytokines, and splenic bacterial counts), altered serum biochemistry (lower albumin and cholesterol and higher iron and glucose values), and increased urinary protein and sodium excretion. In the gut and lungs, IA LPS–induced inflammatory responses were observed mainly at birth (increased LPS, CXCL8, and IL-1β levels and myeloperoxidase-positive cell density, multiple increases in innate immune gene expressions, and reduced villus heights), but not on postnatal day 5 (except elevated lung CXCL8 and diarrhea symptoms). Finally, IA LPS did not affect postnatal gut brush-border enzymes, hexose absorption, permeability, or sensitivity to necrotizing enterocolitis on day 5. Short-term IA LPS exposure predisposes preterm pigs to postnatal systemic inflammation after acute fetal gut and lung inflammatory responses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2629-2643
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 208977736