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Antenatal exposure to chorioamnionitis affects lipid metabolism in 7-week-old sheep

  • E. Vlassaks (a1), A. W. D. Gavilanes (a1), V. Bieghs (a2), A. Reinartz (a3), N. Gassler (a3), P. J. Van Gorp (a2), M. J. J. Gijbels (a2), O. Bekers (a4), L. J. I. Zimmermann (a1), J. J. Pillow (a5), G. R. Polglase (a5), I. Nitsos (a5), J. P. Newnham (a5), S. G. Kallapur (a6), A. H. Jobe (a6), R. Shiri-Sverdlov (a2) and B. W. Kramer (a1)...


Antenatal exposure of the fetus to inflammation may alter postnatal organ development. In our previous work, we demonstrated that the fetal liver is involved in the systemic inflammation associated with chorioamnionitis, leading to metabolic changes. On the basis of these findings, we hypothesized that chorioamnionitis can lead to postnatal inflammation-related liver injury and disturbed lipid metabolism. Chorioamnionitis was induced in sheep by intra-amniotic injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline at 90, 100 and 110 days of gestation. Liver homeostasis and lipid metabolism were analyzed at term and at 7 weeks of age. At term, hepatic T-lymphocytes and apoptotic hepatocytes were increased. In addition, hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride levels were decreased in LPS-exposed animals compared with controls. At 7 weeks of age, no hepatic inflammation could be detected. However, liver triglycerides and plasma cholesterol levels were increased in LPS-exposed animals relative to controls. The changes in lipid levels at 7 weeks of age were associated with increased leptin receptor mRNA levels, increased lipid peroxidation, increased expression of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 as a marker for mitochondrial function and increased circulating ceramide levels. These findings demonstrate that chorioamnionitis-mediated antenatal inflammation-related liver disturbances have long-lasting postnatal effects on lipid metabolism.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr B. W. Kramer, MD, PhD, Professor of Experimental Perinatology, Department of Pediatrics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Postbus 5800, 6200MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. (Email


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Equal contribution of both authors.



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Antenatal exposure to chorioamnionitis affects lipid metabolism in 7-week-old sheep

  • E. Vlassaks (a1), A. W. D. Gavilanes (a1), V. Bieghs (a2), A. Reinartz (a3), N. Gassler (a3), P. J. Van Gorp (a2), M. J. J. Gijbels (a2), O. Bekers (a4), L. J. I. Zimmermann (a1), J. J. Pillow (a5), G. R. Polglase (a5), I. Nitsos (a5), J. P. Newnham (a5), S. G. Kallapur (a6), A. H. Jobe (a6), R. Shiri-Sverdlov (a2) and B. W. Kramer (a1)...


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