Chorioamnionitis and mechanical ventilation are associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm infants. Mechanical ventilation at birth activates both inflammatory and acute phase responses. These responses can be partially modulated by previous exposure to intra-amniotic (IA) LPS or Ureaplasma parvum (UP). Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligands participate in lung development, and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) 1 and ACE2 contribute to lung inflammation. We asked whether brief mechanical ventilation at birth altered EGFR and ACE pathways and if antenatal exposure to IA LPS or UP could modulate these effects. Ewes were exposed to IA injections of UP, LPS or saline multiple days prior to preterm delivery at 85% gestation. Lambs were either immediately euthanized or mechanically ventilated for 2 to 3 hr. IA UP and LPS cause modest changes in the EGFR ligands amphiregulin (AREG), epiregulin (EREG), heparin binding epidermal growth factor (HB-EGF), and betacellulin (BTC) mRNA expression. Mechanical ventilation greatly increased mRNA expression of AREG, EREG, and HB-EGF, with no additional increases resulting from IA LPS or UP. With ventilation AREG and EREG mRNA localized to cells in terminal airspace. EGFR mRNA also increased with mechanical ventilation. IA UP and LPS decreased ACE1 mRNA and increased ACE2 mRNA, resulting in a 4 fold change in the ACE1/ACE2 ratio. Mechanical ventilation with large tidal volumes increased both ACE1 and ACE2 expression. The alterations seen in ACE with IA exposures and EGFR pathways with mechanical ventilation may contribute to the development of BPD in preterm infants. © 2014 Hillman et al.
Hillman, N. H., Gisslen, T., Polglase, G. R., Kallapur, S. G., & Jobe, A. H. (2014). Ventilation-induced increases in EGFR ligand mRNA are not altered by intra-amniotic LPS or Ureaplasma in preterm lambs. PLoS ONE, 9(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0096087