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Pediatr Res. 2008 Mar;63(3):280-6. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e318163a8b2.

Maternal endotoxin-induced preterm birth in mice: fetal responses in toll-like receptors, collectins, and cytokines.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Oulu, Oulu, FIN-90014, Finland.


Major cause of prematurity is spontaneous preterm birth (PTB) associated with intrauterine inflammation. Our aim was to establish a model of endotoxin Lipopolysaccharide-induced PTB of live-born pups and to study early immune activation in fetal and maternal compartments. Expression of several proteins that bind microbes (Toll-like receptors TLR4, TLR2; surfactant proteins SP-A, SP-D) was analyzed. At 16 or 17 d of gestation, C57BL/6 dams received a single dose of intraperitoneal LPS, leading to PTB within 17 h. Cytokine levels increased in maternal serum, followed by a modest increase in fetal serum and in amniotic fluid. In uterus, placenta, and fetal membranes, LPS mostly increased the expressions of TLR, SPs, and cytokines. The number of TLR2-positive macrophages increased in labyrinthine placenta. In fetal lung, intestine, liver, and brain there were modest changes in cytokine expressions. In fetal lung, SP and TLR mRNAs decreased and TLR2-positive macrophages redistributed around vessels. LPS-induced fetal deaths associated with early age (16 d gestation) rather than with proinflammatory activation. Here we propose that maternal LPS response leads to PTB and acute decrease of immune proteins in epithelial lining of fetal lung. Instead, acceleration of lung maturity has been previously observed in intraamniotic inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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