Our purpose was to determine the influences of antenatal dexamethasone administration on neonatal lung development in rats. Dexamethasone (0.4 mg/kg maternal body weight per day) was administered i.p. on the 21st d (group 1) or on the 20th and 21st d (group 2) of gestation in Sprague Dawley rats with timed pregnancies. After natural deliveries, the lungs of the pups 1-60 d of age were removed and processed for morphometric analysis. In 60-d-old pups, groups 1 and 2 both showed a lower numerical density of alveoli and a larger mean alveolar radius than control pups. Antenatal administration of dexamethasone to rats impairs the normal postnatal lung growth. Some aspects of the use of antenatal glucocorticoid therapy in humans may require reconsideration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health