Antenatal betamethasone (Beta) is widely used in women with asymptomatic chorioamnionitis at risk for preterm delivery, but its effects on fetal inflammation are unstudied. Groups of ewes at 109 +/- 1 days of gestation received the following treatments: intra-amniotic (IA) saline (control), 0.5 mg/kg intramuscular Beta, 10 mg IA endotoxin (Endo), and Beta + 2 h later Endo (Beta + Endo). Beta suppressed Endo-induced lung inflammation at 1 day. However, compared with Endo 5 days after treatment, Beta + Endo lambs had increased alveolar neutrophils, proinflammatory cytokine mRNA expression, and serum amyloid A3 (SAA3) mRNA expression. IL-1beta mRNA expression was localized to the inflammatory cells, whereas SAA3 mRNA expression was induced in the bronchial epithelium and the inflammatory cells. Compared with Endo, Beta + Endo lambs had increased lung inflammation but equivalent lung volumes 15 days after treatment. The late increase in inflammation in the Beta + Endo animals suggests that glucocorticoids impair the ability of the preterm lung to downregulate Endo-induced inflammation after fetal clearance of the glucocorticoids. These results have implications for lung inflammation and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants exposed to chorioamnionitis and maternal glucocorticoids.
|Pages (from-to)||633 - 642|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|