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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Apr;204(4):364.e17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.11.015. Epub 2011 Jan 22.

Fetal responses to lipopolysaccharide-induced chorioamnionitis alter immune and airway responses in 7-week-old sheep.

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  • 1School of Women's and Infant's Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.



We hypothesized that fetal innate immune responses to lipopolysaccharide-induced chorioamnionitis would alter postnatal systemic immune and airway responsiveness.


Ewes received intraamniotic injections with saline or lipopolysaccharide at 90, 100, and 110 days of gestation. Immune status and airway responsiveness were evaluated at term and at 7 weeks of age.


At term, lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils were significantly increased (respectively, 24-fold, 127-fold, and 31,000-fold) in lungs and blood monocytes became Toll-like receptor 2 responsive after lipopolysaccharide exposures. Furthermore, CD4 and CD4/CD25 lymphocytes were increased in thymus and lymph nodes. At 7 weeks, airway reactivity decreased and concentrations of CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes changed in the lungs and thymus relative to controls.


Early gestational lipopolysaccharide exposure increased leukocyte responsiveness at term. Decreased airway reactivity and changes in lymphocytes at 7 weeks postnatal demonstrate persistent effects of fetal exposure to LPS.

Copyright © 2011 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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