Mediators of fetal inflammation in extremely low gestational age newborns

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Department of Pediatrics

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Adult; Female; Fetal Blood; Gestational Age; Half-Life; Humans; Infant, Newborn; Infant, Premature; Infant, Very Low Birth Weight; Inflammation; Inflammation Mediators; Male; Pregnancy




To establish levels of mediators of inflammation in cord blood and postnatal serum from extremely low gestational age newborns (ELGANs, < or =28 weeks), we measured sixteen markers of inflammation by recycling immunoaffinity chromatography in 15 ELGANs who had serum sampled at days 2-5. Median levels of IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-11, IL-13, TNF-alpha, G-CSF, M-CSF, GM-CSF, MIP-1alpha, and RANTES were considerably higher than published values of these inflammatory mediators from term newborns. In three of eight ELGANS who had serial measurements taken, levels of IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, IL-11, TNF-alpha, G-CSF, and MIP-1alpha declined from initially very high levels to reach an apparent baseline towards the end of the first postnatal week. In these same three infants, GM-CSF and TGF-beta1 levels increased continuously during the first week. In the other five ELGANs, no consistent changes were observed. We speculate, that in some ELGANs, a fetal systemic inflammatory response is characterized by an antenatal wave of pro-inflammatory cytokines, followed by a second, postnatal wave of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Large epidemiologic studies are needed to clarify relationships among inflammation markers and their expression in the fetal and neonatal circulation over time. Such studies would also add to our understanding of the possible role of inflammatory mediators in the pathophysiology of the major complications of extreme prematurity.

DOI of Published Version



Cytokine. 2001 Feb 21;13(4):234-9. Link to article on publisher's site

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