Perinatal inflammation and adverse outcomes of the intestine and liver

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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A major cause of preterm birth is infection of the amniotic membranes during pregnancy. This thesis investigated whether such an infection has adverse effects on the intestine and liver of the premature, in a laboratory model. The research demonstrated that infection of the amniotic membranes can induce intestinal inflammation, which coincided with damage of the gastrointestinal nerve system, especially when an infection is induced early in pregnancy. Moreover, it was found that shortly after such an infection, an inflammatory reaction occurred in the liver, which contributed to an overall immune response of the fetus. It is known that preterm birth and amniotic infection increase the risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis, one of the most severe neonatal gastrointestinal emergencies. The results described in this thesis suggest that the onset of this disease may already have its origin in the womb. Lastly, a potential intervention was described that can reduce the inflammatory response in the liver.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • van Gemert, Wim, Supervisor
  • Wolfs, Tim, Supervisor
  • Lenaerts, Kaatje, Co-Supervisor
Award date4 Feb 2022
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464235531
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Chorioamnionitis
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Enteric nervous system
  • Liver


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