Fetal skin as a pro-inflammatory organ: Evidence from a primate model of chorioamnionitis

Suppawat Boonkasidecha, Paranthaman Senthamarai Kannan, Suhas G. Kallapur, Alan H. Jobe, Matthew W. Kemp

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Intrauterine infection is a primary cause of preterm birth and fetal injury. The pro-inflammatory role of the fetal skin in the setting of intrauterine infection remains poorly characterized. Whether or not inflammation of the fetal skin occurs in primates remains unstudied. Accordingly, we hypothesized that: i) the fetal primate skin would mount a pro-inflammatory response to preterm birth associated pro-inflammatory agents (lipopolysaccharides from Escherichia coli, live Ureaplasma parvum, interleukin-1β) and; ii) that inhibiting interleukin-1 signaling would decrease the skin inflammatory response. Methods: Rhesus macaques with singleton pregnancies received intraamniotic injections of either sterile saline (control) or one of three pro-inflammatory agonists: E. coli lipopolysaccharides, interluekin-1β or live U. parvum under ultrasound guidance. A fourth group of animals received both E. coli lipopolysaccharide and interleukin-1 signaling inhibitor interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (Anakinra) prior to delivery. Animals were surgically delivered at approximately 130 days’ gestational age. Results: Intraamniotic lipopolysaccharide caused an inflammatory skin response characterized by increases in interluekin-1β,-6 and -8 mRNA at 16 hours. There was a modest inflammatory response to U. parvum, but interleukin-1β alone caused no inflammatory response in the fetal skin. Intraamniotic Anakinra treatment of lipopolysaccharide-exposed animals significantly reduced skin inflammation. Conclusions: Intraamniotic lipopolysaccharide and U. parvum were associated with modest increases in the expression of inflammatory mediators in primate fetal skin. Although administration of Interleukin-1β alone did not elicit an inflammatory response, lipopolysaccharide-driven skin inflammation was decreased following intraamniotic Anakinra therapy. These findings provide support for the role of the fetal skin in the development of the fetal inflammatory response.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0184938
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


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