Prostaglandins mediate the fetal pulmonary response to intrauterine inflammation

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Intra-amniotic (IA) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces intrauterine and fetal lung inflammation and increases lung surfactant and compliance in preterm sheep; however, the mechanisms are unknown. Prostaglandins (PGs) are inflammatory mediators, and PGE(2) has established roles in fetal lung surfactant production. The aim of our first study was to determine PGE(2) concentrations in response to IA LPS and pulmonary gene expression for PG synthetic [prostaglandin H synthase-2 (PGHS-2) and PGE synthase (PGES)] and PG-metabolizing [prostaglandin dehydrogenase (PGDH)] enzymes and PGE(2) receptors. Our second study aimed to block LPS-induced increases in PGE(2) with a PGHS-2 inhibitor (nimesulide) and determine lung inflammation and surfactant protein mRNA expression. Pregnant ewes received an IA saline or LPS injection at 118 days of gestation. In study 1, fetal plasma and amniotic fluid were sampled before and at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 24 h after injection and then daily, and fetuses were delivered 2 or 7 days later. Amniotic fluid PGE(2) concentrations increased (P <0.05) 12 h and 3-6 days after LPS. Fetal lung PGHS-2 mRNA and PGES mRNA increased 2 (P = 0.0084) and 7 (P = 0.014) days after LPS, respectively. In study 2, maternal intravenous nimesulide or vehicle infusion began immediately before LPS or saline injection and continued until delivery 2 days later. Nimesulide inhibited LPS-induced increases in PGE(2) and decreased fetal lung IL-1beta and IL-8 mRNA (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L664 - L678
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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