Preterm birth: A neuroinflammatory origin for metabolic diseases?

Brain Behav Immun Health. 2024 Mar 7:37:100745. doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2024.100745. eCollection 2024 May.


Preterm birth and its related complications have become more and more common as neonatal medicine advances. The concept of "developmental origins of health and disease" has raised awareness of adverse perinatal events in the development of diseases later in life. To explore this concept, we propose that encephalopathy of prematurity (EoP) as a potential pro-inflammatory early life event becomes a novel risk factor for metabolic diseases in children/adolescents and adulthood. Here, we review epidemiological evidence that links preterm birth to metabolic diseases and discuss possible synergic roles of preterm birth and neuroinflammation from EoP in the development of metabolic diseases. In addition, we explore theoretical underlying mechanisms regarding developmental programming of the energy control system and HPA axis.

Keywords: Developmental programming; Metabolic disease; Preterm birth.

Publication types

  • Review