An animal model for chorioamnionitis at term

Valeria Dell'Ovo, Jason Rosenzweig, Irina Burd, Nana Merabova, Nune Darbinian, Laura Goetzl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective The purpose of this study was to develop an animal model for intrapartum inflammation at term to investigate the interactions between maternal and fetal inflammatory responses and adverse neurologic outcome. Study Design Lipopolysaccharide (160, 320, or 640 μg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally to day 20 term-pregnant Sprague Dawley rat dams 2, 4, and 6 hours before sample collection. Maternal outcomes included dam core temperature and plasma interleukin 6 (IL-6). Fetal outcomes included plasma IL-6, brain IL-6 messenger RNA expression, and brain IL-6 protein expression. Primary cortical cell cultures were prepared to examine neuronal morphologic condition. Neurite counts were obtained with the use of automated Sholl analysis. Results Maternal plasma IL-6 levels peaked 2 hours after lipopolysaccharide stimulus and rapidly resolved, except for an observed low level persistence at 6 hours with 640 μg/kg. Fetal plasma and placental IL-6 expression also peaked rapidly but only persisted in placental samples. Fetal brain IL-6 RNA and protein expression was significantly higher than control litters at 6 hours after the exposure to both 320 μg/kg (P ≤.05) and 640 μg/kg (P ≤.01). Cortical cells from fetuses that were exposed for 6 hours to maternal systemic inflammation showed reduced neurite number and neurite length (P <.001) with increasing lipopolysaccharide dose. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that fetal brain injury follows isolated systemic maternal inflammation and that fetal brain inflammation lags after maternal stimulus, which creates a potential 4-hour clinical window for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387.e1-387.e10
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • brain injury
  • cerebral palsy
  • chorioamnionitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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