Send to

Choose Destination
J Child Neurol. 2009 Sep;24(9):1119-26. doi: 10.1177/0883073809338066. Epub 2009 Jul 15.

Fetal inflammatory response and brain injury in the preterm newborn.

Author information

Division of Newborn Medicine, Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Preterm birth can be caused by intrauterine infection and maternal/fetal inflammatory responses. Maternal inflammation (chorioamnionitis) is often followed by a systemic fetal inflammatory response characterized by elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the fetal circulation. The inflammation signal is likely transmitted across the blood-brain barrier and initiates a neuroinflammatory response. Microglial activation has a central role in this process and triggers excitotoxic, inflammatory, and oxidative damage in the developing brain. Neuroinflammation can persist over a period of time and sensitize the brain to subinjurious insults in early and chronic phases but may offer relative tolerance in the intermediate period through activation of endogenous anti-inflammatory, protective, and repair mechanisms. Neuroinflammatory injury not only destroys what exists but also changes what develops.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center