table_2_Inflammation-Induced Adverse Pregnancy and Neonatal Outcomes Can Be Improved by the Immunomodulatory Peptide Exendin-4.PDF

Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Inflammation is causally linked to preterm birth; therefore, finding an intervention that dampens maternal and fetal inflammatory responses may provide a new strategy to prevent adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. Using animal models of systemic maternal inflammation [intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)] and fetal inflammation (intra-amniotic administration of LPS), we found that (1) systemic inflammation induced adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes by causing a severe maternal cytokine storm and a mild fetal cytokine response; (2) fetal inflammation induced adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes by causing a mild maternal cytokine response and a severe fetal cytokine storm; (3) exendin-4 (Ex4) treatment of dams with systemic inflammation or fetal inflammation improved adverse pregnancy outcomes by modestly reducing the rate of preterm birth; (4) Ex4 treatment of dams with systemic, but not local, inflammation considerably improved neonatal outcomes, and such neonates continued to thrive; (5) systemic inflammation facilitated the diffusion of Ex4 through the uterus and the maternal–fetal interface; (6) neonates born to Ex4-treated dams with systemic inflammation displayed a similar cytokine profile to healthy control neonates; and (7) treatment with Ex4 had immunomodulatory effects by inducing an M2 macrophage polarization and increasing anti-inflammatory neutrophils, as well as suppressing the expansion of CD8+ regulatory T cells, in neonates born to dams with systemic inflammation. Collectively, these results provide evidence that dampening maternal systemic inflammation through novel interventions, such as Ex4, can improve the quality of life for neonates born to women with this clinical condition.