Neonatal programming of innate immune function

Sarah Spencer, Michael Galic, Quentin Pittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


The early life environment can be crucial in influencing the development of an animal s long-term physiology. There is now much evidence to suggest that perinatal challenges to an animal s immune system will result in changes in adult rat behavior, physiology, and molecular pathways following a single inflammatory event during development caused by the bacterial endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In particular, it is now apparent that neonatal LPS administration can influence the adult neuroimmune response to a second LPS challenge through hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis modifications, some of which are caused by alterations in peripheral prostaglandin synthesis. These pronounced changes are accompanied by a variety of alterations in a number of disparate aspects of endocrine physiology, with significant implications for the health and wellbeing of the adult animal. In this review, we will discuss the newly elucidated mechanisms by which neonatal immune challenge can permanently alter an animal s endocrine and metabolic physiology and the implications this has for various disease states.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E11 - E18
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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