Long-term pulmonary effects of intrauterine exposure to endotoxin following preterm birth in sheep

Anzari Atik, Foula Sozo, Sandra Orgeig, Lakshmi Suri, Takushi Hanita, Richard Harding, Robert De Matteo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Our aim was to determine whether fetal exposure to intraamniotic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) persistently alters the lungs following moderate preterm birth. Fetal sheep were exposed to LPS (1 mg/d) or saline from 0.75 to preterm birth at 0.90 of gestation. Eleven weeks after preterm birth, lung structure was unaltered. Interleukin (IL)-1β messenger RNA (mRNA) levels were elevated in lungs of LPS-exposed lambs (P <.05) but IL-1β protein levels were unaltered. Lung mRNA levels of IL-6, IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor α, and percentage of inflammatory cells were not different between groups. Surfactant protein (SP)-A and SP-C mRNA levels and SP-B tissue protein expression were higher in LPS-exposed lambs than controls (all P <.05); however, expression of SP-A and SP-C proteins was reduced. Prenatal LPS exposure causes a persistent increase in gene expression of proinflammatory mediators and surfactant proteins and a decrease in lung tissue SP-A and -C protein expression after preterm birth, which may affect lung immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1352-1364
Number of pages13
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • inflammation
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • lung morphometry
  • surfactant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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