Intrauterine inflammation (IUI) associated with infection is the major cause of preterm birth (PTB) at ,32 weeks' gestation and accounts for ~40% of all spontaneous PTBs. Pharmacological strategies to prevent PTB and improve fetal outcomes will likely require both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory therapies. Hereweinvestigated the effects of two cytokine-suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs (CSAIDs), compounds that specifically target inflammatory signalling pathways, in an ovine model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced chorioamnionitis. Chronically catheterized ewes at 116 days gestation (n 1/4 7/group) received an intra-amniotic (IA) bolus of LPS (10 mg) plus vehicle or CSAIDS: TPCA-1 (1.2 mg/kg fetal weight) or 5z-7-oxozeaenol (OxZnl; 0.4 mg/kg fetalweight); controls received vehicle (dimethylsulphoxide). Amniotic fluid (AF), fetal and maternal blood sampleswere taken 0, 2, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h later; tissues were taken at autopsy (48 h). Administration of TPCA-1 or OxZnl abrogated the stimulatory effects of LPS (P , 0.01 versus vehicle control) on production of PGE2 in AF, with lesser (nonsignificant) effects on IL-6 production. Fetal membrane polymorphonuclear cell infiltration score was significantly higher in LPS versus vehicle control animals (P , 0.01), and this difference was absent with TPCA-1 and OxZnl treatment. LPS-induced systemic fetal inflammation was highly variable, with no significant effects of CSAIDs observed. Lung inflammationwas evident with LPS exposure, but unaffected by CSAID treatment. We have shown in a large animal model that IA administration of a single dose of CSAIDs can suppress LPS-induced IA inflammatory responses, while fetal effects were minimal. Further development and investigation of these compounds in infectious models is warranted.
- Cytokine-suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs
- Intrauterine infection
- Preterm birth