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Lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation and perinatal brain injury

Review article
Authors Xiaoyang Wang
Catherine Rousset
Henrik Hagberg
Carina Mallard
Published in Semin Fetal Neonatal Med
Volume 11
Issue 5
Pages 343-53
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 343-53
Language en
Keywords Animals, Animals, Newborn, Biological Markers, Brain Injuries/*chemically induced, Disease Models, Animal, Inflammation/*chemically induced, Lipopolysaccharides/administration & dosage/*toxicity, Mice, Rats, Risk Factors, Sheep
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


Both energy failure and infections are important risk factors for brain injury in term and preterm infants. In this review we focus on recent experimental studies that have examined the effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure to the fetus or neonate and the interaction of LPS with other events. Intracerebral LPS injections induce a marked cerebral cytokine response and prominent white matter lesions. LPS administered intravenously to the fetus also induces gross lesions, which are mainly localised to the white matter and are accompanied by activation of inflammatory cells. Cerebral effects following fetal LPS exposure via more distant routes, such as intracervical, intrauterine or maternal LPS administration, are characterised by reductions in oligodendrocyte or myelin markers without macroscopic lesions being evident. Both antenatal and neonatal LPS exposures increase the sensitivity of the brain to subsequent hypoxic/ischaemic events, even in adulthood. These studies suggest that fetal inflammation is the strongest predictor of brain lesions.

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