PhD Student, Monash University, Central Clinical Schools
Exploring the link between two neonatal disorders that arise as a complication of supplemental O2.
Bronchopulmonary dyplasia (BPD) and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are two major disorders of preterm birth and arise as a complication of exposure to supplemental oxygen given to treat breathing difficulties in these babies. Approximately 68-75% of premature infants weighing less than 1500g are diagnosed with BPD and ROP which often progress into severe lung disease known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the world’s third leading cause of death or vision loss in the eye. Previously BPD and ROP were viewed as two distinct disorders even though they often occur simultaneously in a single infant. There are presently no cures for these conditions and only limited treatment options are available. Therefore, we hypothesise that there is an underlying mechanism that links the two disorders together. By modelling BPD and ROP disease progression together we will be able to better understand the pathways that lead to the development of these disorders, in order to find an effective preventative treatment for BPD and ROP.
Abstract: Many premature newborns develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung disease resulting from prolonged mechanical ventilation and hyperoxia. BPD survivors typically suffer long-term injuries not only to the lungs, but also to the brain and retina. However, currently it is not clear whether the brain and retinal injuries in these newborns are related only to their prematurity, or also to BPD. We investigated whether the hyperoxia known to cause histologic changes in the lungs similar to BPD in an animal model also causes brain and retinal injuries. Sprague Dawley rat pups were exposed to hyperoxia (95% O2, 'BPD' group) or room air (21% O2, 'control' group) from postnatal day 4-14 (P4-14); the rat pups were housed in room air between P14 and P28. At P28, they were sacrificed, and their lungs, brain, and eyes were extracted. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed on lung and brain sections; retinas were stained with Toluidine Blue. Hyperoxia exposure resulted in an increased mean linear intercept in the lungs (P<0.0001). This increase was associated with a decrease in some brain structures [especially the whole-brain surface (P=0.02)], as well as a decrease in the thickness of the retinal layers [especially the total retina (P=0.0008)], compared to the room air control group. In addition, a significant negative relationship was observed between the lung structures and the brain (r=-0.49,P=0.02) and retina (r=-0.70,P=0.0008) structures. In conclusion, hyperoxia exposure impaired lung, brain, and retina structures. More severe lung injuries correlated with more severe brain and retinal injuries. This result suggests that the same animal model of chronic neonatal hyperoxia can be used to simultaneously study lung, brain and retinal injuries related to hyperoxia.
Pub.: 19 Mar '16, Pinned: 28 Aug '17
Abstract: Preterm and term infants are frequently exposed to high concentrations of oxygen for prolonged periods. In experimental models, high and prolonged oxygen exposures cause delayed alveolar septation and a bronchopulmonary dysplasia phenotype. Often, however, the oxygen exposure is tolerated in that the infants recover without severe lung or systemic injury. Multiple exposures change oxygen sensitivity in adult and newborn animals. Examples are antenatal corticosteroids, inflammatory mediators or preconditioning with oxygen, which will increase tolerance to oxygen injury. Intrauterine growth restriction or postnatal nutritional deficits will increase oxygen injury. Different infants probably have quite variable sensitivities to oxygen injury, but there are no biomarkers available to predict the risk of oxygen injury.
Pub.: 11 May '10, Pinned: 28 Aug '17
Abstract: The pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a devastating lung disease in preterm infants, includes inflammation, the mechanisms of which are not fully characterized. Here we report that the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is associated with the development of BPD. Hyperoxia-exposed neonatal mice have increased caspase-1 activation, IL1β and inflammation, and decreased alveolarization. Nlrp3−/− mice have no caspase-1 activity, no IL1β, no inflammatory response and undergo normal alveolarization. Treatment of hyperoxia-exposed mice with either IL1 receptor antagonist to block IL1β or glyburide to block the Nlrp3 inflammasome results in decreased inflammation and increased alveolarization. Ventilated preterm baboons show activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome with increased IL1β:IL1ra ratio. The IL1β:IL1ra ratio in tracheal aspirates from preterm infants with respiratory failure is predictive of the development of BPD. We conclude that early activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome is a key mechanism in the development of BPD, and represents a novel therapeutic target for BPD.
Pub.: 27 Nov '15, Pinned: 28 Aug '17
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