Infection or inflammation during pregnancy is known to lead to maternal immune activation triggering a fetal inflammatory response syndrome associated with deleterious effects, such as brain injury and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) - one of the most common bacterium colonizing pregnant women - can be responsible for chorioamnionitis. Given that interleukin (IL)-1β has a major role in anti-GBS host defense, we hypothesized that IL-1β-driven innate immune response is implicated in GBS-induced chorioamnionitis. Using a rat model of GBS-induced chorioamnionitis, this study showed that inflammatory response to this pathogen was associated with maternal and placental IL-1β hyper expression. Following placental chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1) production, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) placental infiltration started at 24 h post-GBS exposure, and MMP-10 was released within these placentas. At 72 h, PMN infiltration extended to membranes and to membranes' arteries. This was associated with IL-1β release within the fetus blood at 72 h. Such a GBS-associated inflammatory cascade might be deleterious for fetal organs. These results pave the way toward targeted placento-protective anti-inflammatory strategies against GBS-induced chorioamnionitis.
Keywords: Chorioamnionitis; Group B Streptococcus; Inflammation; Interleukin-1β; Maternal immune activation; Placenta.
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