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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 May;108(5):1347-56. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01392.2009. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

Deficits in lung alveolarization and function after systemic maternal inflammation and neonatal hyperoxia exposure.

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  • 1Center for Perinatal Research, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, 700 Children's Dr., Columbus, OH 43205, USA.


Systemic maternal inflammation contributes to preterm birth and is associated with development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Infants with BPD exhibit decreased alveolarization, diffuse interstitial fibrosis with thickened alveolar septa, and impaired pulmonary function. We tested the hypothesis that systemic prenatal LPS administration to pregnant mice followed by postnatal hyperoxia exposure is associated with prolonged alterations in pulmonary structure and function after return to room air (RA) that are more severe than hyperoxia exposure alone. Timed-pregnant C3H/HeN mice were dosed with LPS (80 microg/kg) or saline on gestation day 16. Newborn pups were exposed to RA or 85% O2 for 14 days and then to RA for an additional 14 days. Data were collected and analyzed on postnatal days 14 and 28. The combination of prenatal LPS and postnatal hyperoxia exposure generated a phenotype with more inflammation (measured as no. of macrophages per high-power field) than either insult alone at day 28. The combined exposures were associated with a diffuse fibrotic response [measured as hydroxyproline content (microg)] but did not induce a more severe developmental arrest than hyperoxia alone. Pulmonary function tests indicated that hyperoxia, independent of maternal exposure, induced compliance decreases on day 14 that did not persist after RA recovery. Either treatment alone or combined induced an increase in resistance on day 14, but the increase persisted on day 28 only in pups receiving the combined treatment. In conclusion, the combination of systemic maternal inflammation and neonatal hyperoxia induced a prolonged phenotype of arrested alveolarization, diffuse fibrosis, and impaired lung mechanics that mimics human BPD. This new model should be useful in designing studies of specific mechanisms and interventions that could ultimately be utilized to define therapies to prevent BPD in premature infants.

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