Chorioamnionitis, an inflammatory reaction of the fetal membranes to microbes, is an important cause of preterm birth and associated with inflammation-driven lung injury. However, inflammation in utero overcomes immaturity of the premature lung by inducing surfactant lipids and lung gas volume. Previously, we found that lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced chorioamnionitis resulted in pulmonary inflammation with increased effector T cells and decreased regulatory T cell (Treg) numbers. Because Tregs are crucial for immune regulation, we assessed the effects of interleukin (IL)-2-driven selective Treg expansion on the fetal lung in an ovine chorioamnionitis model. Instrumented fetuses received systemic prophylactic IL-2 treatment [118 days gestational age (dGA)] with or without subsequent exposure to intra-amniotic LPS (122 dGA). Following delivery at 129 dGA (term 147 dGA), pulmonary and systemic inflammation, morphological changes, lung gas volume, and phospholipid concentration were assessed. IL-2 pretreatment increased the FoxP3(+)/CD3(+) ratio, which was associated with reduced CD3-positive cells in the fetal lungs of LPS-exposed animals. Prophylactic IL-2 treatment did not prevent pulmonary accumulation of myeloperoxidase-and PU. 1-positive cells or elevation of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid IL-8 and systemic IL-6 concentrations in LPSexposed animals. Unexpectedly, IL-2 treatment improved fetal lung function of control lambs as indicated by increased disaturated phospholipids and improved lung gas volume. In conclusion, systemic IL-2 treatment in utero preferentially expanded Tregs and improved lung gas volume and disaturated phospholipids. These beneficial effects on lung function were maintained despite the moderate immunomodulatory effects of prophylactic IL-2 in the course of chorioamnionitis.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2016|
- regulatory T cells
- pulmonary inflammation
- lung function