Population Cohort Associating Chorioamnionitis, Cord Inflammatory Cytokines and Neurologic Outcome in Very Preterm, Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants

Department of Pediatrics, University of Oulu, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland.
Pediatric Research (Impact Factor: 2.31). 04/2006; 59(3):478-83. DOI: 10.1203/
Source: PubMed


Intrauterine inflammation may relate to neurologic disability among preterm children. We investigated the relationship between chorioamnionitis, cord serum cytokines, and neurologic outcome. Sixty-one consecutively born very preterm extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants were prospectively enrolled. Histologic inflammation in placenta and umbilical cord and vascular pathology were evaluated. Cord sera were analyzed for five proinflammatory cytokines. Serial brain ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging were performed for evaluation of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH grade I-III) and white matter damage (WMD: cystic periventricular leukomalacia or IVH grade IV). Neurologic and neurocognitive outcomes were assessed at the corrected age of 2 y. The incidences of HCA, WMD, and abnormal neurologic outcome were 48%, 13% and 19%, respectively. HCA or high IL-6 in cord serum predicted spontaneous preterm labor with high accuracy. HCA increased the risk of IVH grade II-III. In HCA, without either clinical chorioamnionitis or histologic placental perfusion defect, the children had a low risk of WMD (0%) and a low risk of abnormal neurologic outcome (6%). In HCA, the concentration of IL-6 in cord serum was lower in children with abnormal neurologic outcome than in children with normal neurologic outcome. In HCA and placental perfusion defect (compound defect) the risk of abnormal neurologic outcome was high. Compound placental defect and WMD additively predicted abnormal neurologic outcome. We propose that HCA together with other insults (placental perfusion defect or maternal systemic infection) increases the risk of poor neurologic outcome in very preterm ELBW infants.

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Available from: Marja Perhomaa, Aug 25, 2014
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    • "For example, early hemodynamic disturbances were present in very preterm newborns exposed to chorioamnionitis and elevated cord blood cytokines [21], or premature rupture of membranes [22], but not in their peers without these signs. In another prospective study, the risk for abnormal neurologic outcome at 2 years was highest for very preterm infants exposed to both histologic chorioamnionitis and additional placental perfusion defects [23]. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the cumulative nature of HI and inflammatory insults to the developing brain [24-31], but have not mimicked the combined prenatal global HI injury with intrauterine bacterial inflammation that directly models the extreme preterm human condition. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Infants born preterm commonly suffer from a combination of hypoxia-ischemia (HI) and infectious perinatal inflammatory insults that lead to cerebral palsy, cognitive delay, behavioral issues and epilepsy. Using a novel rat model of combined late gestation HI and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation, we tested our hypothesis that inflammation from HI and LPS differentially affects gliosis, white matter development and motor impairment during the first postnatal month. Methods Pregnant rats underwent laparotomy on embryonic day 18 and transient systemic HI (TSHI) and/or intra-amniotic LPS injection. Shams received laparotomy and anesthesia only. Pups were born at term. Immunohistochemistry with stereological estimates was performed to assess regional glial loads, and western blots were performed for protein expression. Erythropoietin ligand and receptor levels were quantified using quantitative PCR. Digigait analysis detected gait deficits. Statistical analysis was performed with one-way analysis of variance and post-hoc Bonferonni correction. Results Microglial and astroglial immunolabeling are elevated in TSHI + LPS fimbria at postnatal day 2 compared to sham (both P < 0.03). At postnatal day 15, myelin basic protein expression is reduced by 31% in TSHI + LPS pups compared to shams (P < 0.05). By postnatal day 28, white matter injury shifts from the acute injury pattern to a chronic injury pattern in TSHI pups only. Both myelin basic protein expression (P < 0.01) and the phosphoneurofilament/neurofilament ratio, a marker of axonal dysfunction, are reduced in postnatal day 28 TSHI pups (P < 0.001). Erythropoietin ligand to receptor ratios differ between brains exposed to TSHI and LPS. Gait analyses reveal that all groups (TSHI, LPS and TSHI + LPS) are ataxic with deficits in stride, paw placement, gait consistency and coordination (all P < 0.001). Conclusions Prenatal TSHI and TSHI + LPS lead to different patterns of injury with respect to myelination, axon integrity and gait deficits. Dual injury leads to acute alterations in glial response and cellular inflammation, while TSHI alone causes more prominent chronic white matter and axonal injury. Both injuries cause significant gait deficits. Further study will contribute to stratification of injury mechanisms in preterm infants, and guide the use of promising therapeutic interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Neuroinflammation
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    • "Chorioamnionitis complicates a third of patients with preterm labour [3] and is the most common complication associated with PPROM [4]. Chorioamnionitis predisposes the preterm infant to numerous organ disease, affecting cardiopulmonary, cerebral, and renal systems [5]; developmental delay and lifelong neurological impairments, such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy and learning and behavioural deficits, are caused by perinatal brain damage [6]–[8]. Besides the emotional burden on families, direct and indirect costs of preterm birth accounts for billions of health care dollars each year. "
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    ABSTRACT: Infection-induced preterm birth is the largest cause of infant death and of neurological disabilities in survivors. Silibinin, from milk thistle, exerts potent anti-inflammatory activities in non-gestational tissues. The aims of this study were to determine the effect of silibinin on pro-inflammatory mediators in (i) human fetal membranes and myometrium treated with bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, and (ii) in preterm fetal membranes with active infection. The effect of silibinin on infection induced inflammation and brain injury in pregnant mice was also assessed. Fetal membranes and myometrium (tissue explants and primary cells) were treated with 200 μM silibinin in the presence or absence of 10 μg/ml LPS or 1 ng/ml IL-1β. C57BL/6 mice were injected with 70 mg/kg silibinin with or without 50 μg LPS on embryonic day 16. Fetal brains were collected after 6 h. In human fetal membranes, silibinin significantly decreased LPS-stimulated expression of IL-6 and IL-8, COX-2, and prostaglandins PGE2 and PGF2α. In primary amnion and myometrial cells, silibinin also decreased IL-1β-induced MMP-9 expression. Preterm fetal membranes with active infection treated with silibinin showed a decrease in IL-6, IL-8 and MMP-9 expression. Fetal brains from mice treated with silibinin showed a significant decrease in LPS-induced IL-8 and ninjurin, a marker of brain injury. Our study demonstrates that silibinin can reduce infection and inflammation-induced pro-labour mediators in human fetal membranes and myometrium. Excitingly, the in vivo results indicate a protective effect of silibinin on infection-induced brain injury in a mouse model of preterm birth.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "We used T2-weighted MRI imaging to investigate volumetric changes in the ovine fetal brain. The MRI imaging did not detect any gross volumetric changes after exposure to intra-amniotic LPS which is in line with previous clinical findings [48,49]. Acute (7d before delivery) or persistent (14d before delivery) exposure to intra-uterine inflammation induced an inflammatory response in the brain regions we investigated as indicated by increased microglia and astrogliosis associated with hypomyelination and reduced synaptophysin expression. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chorioamnionitis and antenatal glucocorticoids are common exposures for preterm infants and can affect the fetal brain, contributing to cognitive and motor deficits in preterm infants. The effects of antenatal glucocorticoids on the brain in the setting of chorioamnionitis are unknown. We hypothesized that antenatal glucocorticoids would modulate inflammation in the brain and prevent hippocampal and white matter injury after intra-amniotic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure. Time-mated ewes received saline (control), an intra-amniotic injection of 10 mg LPS at 106d GA or 113d GA, maternal intra-muscular betamethasone (0.5 mg/kg maternal weight) alone at 113d GA, betamethasone at 106d GA before LPS or betamethasone at 113d GA after LPS. Animals were delivered at 120d GA (term=150d). Brain structure volumes were measured on T2-weighted MRI images. The subcortical white matter (SCWM), periventricular white matter (PVWM) and hippocampus were analyzed for microglia, astrocytes, apoptosis, proliferation, myelin and pre-synaptic vesicles. LPS and/or betamethasone exposure at different time-points during gestation did not alter brain structure volumes on MRI. Betamethasone alone did not alter any of the measurements. Intra-amniotic LPS at 106d or 113d GA induced inflammation as indicated by increased microglial and astrocyte recruitment which was paralleled by increased apoptosis and hypomyelination in the SCWM and decreased synaptophysin density in the hippocampus. Betamethasone before the LPS exposure at 113d GA prevented microglial activation and the decrease in synaptophysin. Betamethasone after LPS exposure increased microglial infiltration and apoptosis. Intra-uterine LPS exposure for 7d or 14d before delivery induced inflammation and injury in the fetal white matter and hippocampus. Antenatal glucocorticoids aggravated the inflammatory changes in the brain caused by pre-existing intra-amniotic inflammation. Antenatal glucocorticoids prior to LPS reduced the effects of intra-uterine inflammation on the brain. The timing of glucocorticoid administration in the setting of chorioamnionitis can alter outcomes for the fetal brain.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · PLoS ONE
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