Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether magnesium sulfate (MgSO(4)) prevents fetal brain injury in inflammation-associated preterm birth (PTB).
Study design: In a mouse model of PTB, mice exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or normal saline (NS) by intrauterine injection were randomized to intraperitoneal treatment with MgSO(4) or NS [corrected]. From the 4 treatment groups (NS + NS; LPS + NS; LPS + MgSO(4); and NS + MgSO(4)), fetal brains were collected for quantitative polymerase chain reaction studies and primary neuronal cultures. Messenger RNA expression of cytokines, cell death, and markers of neuronal and glial differentiation were assessed. Immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy were performed.
Results: There was no difference between the LPS + NS and LPS + MgSO(4) groups in the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, cell death markers, and markers of prooligodendrocyte and astrocyte development (P > .05 for all). Neuronal cultures from the LPS + NS group demonstrated morphologic changes; this neuronal injury was prevented by MgSO(4) (P < .001).
Conclusion: Amelioration of neuronal injury in inflammation-associated PTB may be a key mechanism by which MgSO(4) prevents cerebral palsy.
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