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Pediatr Res. 2010 Nov;68(5):381-6. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181efbe10.

Cardiac function and circulating cytokines after endotoxin exposure in neonatal mice.

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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


Complications after cardiac surgery in neonates can occur because of activation of the inflammatory system. This study used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) endotoxin exposure to cause cytokine activation in neonatal mice and examine left ventricular (LV) function and the effects of antioxidant treatment on cytokine levels. Neonatal mice (6 d old) were injected with either 25 mg/kg LPS (n = 13) or PBS (n = 14), and LV function (echocardiography) was measured at 4 h. Plasma levels of TNF-α, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10 were measured at 30 min, 1, 2, and 4 h after injection (n = 5 mice per group). Effects of pretreatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC, 50 mg/kg) on cytokine levels were examined at 2 and 4 h after PBS or LPS (n = 5 mice per group). Four hours after LPS, heart rate was increased (434 ± 14 versus 405 ± 14 bpm, p < 0.05). LV end-diastolic dimension and ejection time were reduced with LPS (both p < 0.05). LPS exposure increased plasma TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-10 levels. NAC pretreatment attenuated the increases in TNF-α and IL-6 levels, but augmented IL-10 levels at 2 h post-LPS. LPS exposure altered cardiac performance and activated cytokines in neonatal mice, which may be ameliorated using antioxidants.

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