A novel mouse model of Ureaplasma-induced perinatal inflammation: effects on lung and brain injury

Pediatr Res. 2009 Apr;65(4):430-6. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e31819984ce.


Chorioamnionitis is associated with increased lung and brain injury in premature infants. Ureaplasma is the microorganisms most frequently associated with preterm birth. Whether Ureaplasma-induced antenatal inflammation worsens lung and brain injury is unknown. We developed a mouse model combining antenatal Ureaplasma infection and postnatal oxygen exposure. Intraamniotic Ureaplasma Parvum (UP) increased proinflammatory cytokines in placenta and fetal lungs. Antenatal exposure to UP or broth caused mild postnatal inflammation and worsened oxygen-induced lung injury. Antenatal UP exposure induced central microgliosis and disrupted brain development as detected by decreased number of calbindin-positive and calretinin-positive neurons in the neocortex. Postnatal oxygen decreased calretinin-positive neurons in the neocortex but combined with antenatal UP exposure did not worsen brain injury. Antenatal inflammation exacerbates the deleterious effects of oxygen on lung development, but the broth effects prohibit concluding that UP by itself is a compounding risk factor for bronchopulmonary dysplasia. In contrast, antenatal UP-induced inflammation alone is sufficient to disturb brain development. This model may be helpful in exploring the pathophysiology of perinatal lung and brain injury to develop new protective strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / microbiology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / immunology
  • Brain Diseases / microbiology*
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / immunology
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / microbiology*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / pathology
  • Chorioamnionitis / immunology
  • Chorioamnionitis / microbiology*
  • Chorioamnionitis / pathology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperoxia / complications
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / microbiology*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy
  • Ureaplasma / pathogenicity*
  • Ureaplasma Infections / complications*
  • Ureaplasma Infections / immunology
  • Ureaplasma Infections / microbiology
  • Ureaplasma Infections / pathology


  • Cytokines