Fetal responses to lipopolysaccharide-induced chorioamnionitis alter immune and airway responses in 7-week-old sheep

Andrea J. X. Lee*, Verena A. C. Lambermont, J. Jane Pillow, Graeme R. Polglase, Ilias Nitsos, John P. Newnham, Manfred W. Beilharz, Suhas G. Kallapur, Alan H. Jobe, Boris W. Kramer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Web of Science)


OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that fetal innate immune responses to lipopolysaccharide-induced chorioamnionitis would alter postnatal systemic immune and airway responsiveness. STUDY DESIGN: Ewes received intraamniotic injections with saline or lipopolysaccharide at 90, 100, and 110 days of gestation. Immune status and airway responsiveness were evaluated at term and at 7 weeks of age. RESULTS: At term, lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils were significantly increased (respectively, 24-fold, 127-fold, and 31,000-fold) in lungs and blood monocytes became Toll-like receptor 2 responsive after lipopolysaccharide exposures. Furthermore, CD4 and CD4/CD25 lymphocytes were increased in thymus and lymph nodes. At 7 weeks, airway reactivity decreased and concentrations of CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes changed in the lungs and thymus relative to controls. CONCLUSION: Early gestational lipopolysaccharide exposure increased leukocyte responsiveness at term. Decreased airway reactivity and changes in lymphocytes at 7 weeks postnatal demonstrate persistent effects of fetal exposure to LPS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • airway reactivity
  • hygiene hypothesis
  • inflammation
  • preterm

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