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    The effects of dietary polyphenols on reproductive health and early development. Ly Christina,Yockell-Lelièvre Julien,Ferraro Zachary M,Arnason John T,Ferrier Jonathan,Gruslin Andrée Human reproduction update BACKGROUND:Emerging evidence from clinical and epidemiological studies suggests that dietary polyphenols play an important role in the prevention of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. Although these beneficial health claims are supported by experimental data for many subpopulation groups, some studies purport that excessive polyphenol consumption may have negative health effects in other subpopulations. The ever-growing interest and public awareness surrounding the potential benefits of natural health products and polyphenols, in addition to their widespread availability and accessibility through nutritional supplements and fortified foods, has led to increased consumption throughout gestation. Therefore, understanding the implications of polyphenol intake on obstetrical health outcomes is of utmost importance with respect to safe consumption during pregnancy. METHODS:Using relevant keywords, a literature search was performed to gather information regarding polyphenol pharmacology and the molecular mechanisms by which polyphenols exert their biological effects. The primary focus of this paper is to understand the relevance of these findings in the context of reproductive physiology and medicine. RESULTS:Evidence from both in vitro experiments and in vivo studies using animals and humans demonstrates that polyphenols regulate key targets related to oxidative stress, inflammation and advanced glycation end products. Although the majority of these studies have been conducted in the context of chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, several of the key targets influenced by polyphenols are also related to a variety of obstetrical complications, including pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and preterm birth. Polyphenols have also been shown to influence fertility and sexual development, fetal health and the bioavailability of nutrients. CONCLUSIONS:Further research leading to a thorough understanding of the physiological roles and potential clinical value that polyphenol consumption may play in pregnancy is urgently needed to help inform patient safety. 10.1093/humupd/dmu058
    Unique aspects of the perinatal immune system. Zhang Xiaoming,Zhivaki Dania,Lo-Man Richard Nature reviews. Immunology The early stages of life are associated with increased susceptibility to infection, which is in part due to an ineffective immune system. In the context of infection, the immune system must be stimulated to provide efficient protection while avoiding insufficient or excessive activation. Yet, in early life, age-dependent immune regulation at molecular and cellular levels contributes to a reduced immunological fitness in terms of pathogen clearance and response to vaccines. To enable microbial colonization to be tolerated at birth, epigenetic immune cell programming and early life-specific immune regulatory and effector mechanisms ensure that vital functions and organ development are supported and that tissue damage is avoided. Advancement in our understanding of age-related remodelling of immune networks and the consequent tuning of immune responsiveness will open up new possibilities for immune intervention and vaccine strategies that are designed specifically for early life. 10.1038/nri.2017.54
    Activins in reproductive biology and beyond. Wijayarathna R,de Kretser D M Human reproduction update BACKGROUND:Activins are members of the pleiotrophic family of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily of cytokines, initially isolated for their capacity to induce the release of FSH from pituitary extracts. Subsequent research has demonstrated that activins are involved in multiple biological functions including the control of inflammation, fibrosis, developmental biology and tumourigenesis. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the roles of activin in reproductive and developmental biology. It also discusses interesting advances in the field of modulating the bioactivity of activins as a therapeutic target, which would undoubtedly be beneficial for patients with reproductive pathology. METHODS:A comprehensive literature search was carried out using PUBMED and Google Scholar databases to identify studies in the English language which have contributed to the advancement of the field of activin biology, since its initial isolation in 1987 until July 2015. 'Activin', 'testis', 'ovary', 'embryonic development' and 'therapeutic targets' were used as the keywords in combination with other search phrases relevant to the topic of activin biology. RESULTS:Activins, which are dimers of inhibin β subunits, act via a classical TGF-β signalling pathway. The bioactivity of activin is regulated by two endogenous inhibitors, inhibin and follistatin. Activin is a major regulator of testicular and ovarian development. In the ovary, activin A promotes oocyte maturation and regulates granulosa cell steroidogenesis. It is also essential in endometrial repair following menstruation, decidualization and maintaining pregnancy. Dysregulation of the activin-follistatin-inhibin system leads to disorders of female reproduction and pregnancy, including polycystic ovary syndrome, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, fetal growth restriction, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and pre-term birth. Moreover, a rise in serum activin A, accompanied by elevated FSH, is characteristic of female reproductive aging. In the male, activin A is an autocrine and paracrine modulator of germ cell development and Sertoli cell proliferation. Disruption of normal activin signalling is characteristic of many tumours affecting reproductive organs, including endometrial carcinoma, cervical cancer, testicular and ovarian cancer as well as prostate cancer. While activin A and B aid the progression of many tumours of the reproductive organs, activin C acts as a tumour suppressor. Activins are important in embryonic induction, morphogenesis of branched glandular organs, development of limbs and nervous system, craniofacial and dental development and morphogenesis of the Wolffian duct. CONCLUSIONS:The field of activin biology has advanced considerably since its initial discovery as an FSH stimulating agent. Now, activin is well known as a growth factor and cytokine that regulates many aspects of reproductive biology, developmental biology and also inflammation and immunological mechanisms. Current research provides evidence for novel roles of activins in maintaining the structure and function of reproductive and other organ systems. The fact that activin A is elevated both locally as well as systemically in major disorders of the reproductive system makes it an important biomarker. Given the established role of activin A as a pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic agent, studies of its involvement in disorders of reproduction resulting from these processes should be examined. Follistatin, as a key regulator of the biological actions of activin, should be evaluated as a therapeutic agent in conditions where activin A overexpression is established as a contributing factor. 10.1093/humupd/dmv058
    Obesity and pregnancy: mechanisms of short term and long term adverse consequences for mother and child. Catalano Patrick M,Shankar Kartik BMJ (Clinical research ed.) Obesity is the most common medical condition in women of reproductive age. Obesity during pregnancy has short term and long term adverse consequences for both mother and child. Obesity causes problems with infertility, and in early gestation it causes spontaneous pregnancy loss and congenital anomalies. Metabolically, obese women have increased insulin resistance in early pregnancy, which becomes manifest clinically in late gestation as glucose intolerance and fetal overgrowth. At term, the risk of cesarean delivery and wound complications is increased. Postpartum, obese women have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism, depression, and difficulty with breast feeding. Because 50-60% of overweight or obese women gain more than recommended by Institute of Medicine gestational weight guidelines, postpartum weight retention increases future cardiometabolic risks and prepregnancy obesity in subsequent pregnancies. Neonates of obese women have increased body fat at birth, which increases the risk of childhood obesity. Although there is no unifying mechanism responsible for the adverse perinatal outcomes associated with maternal obesity, on the basis of the available data, increased prepregnancy maternal insulin resistance and accompanying hyperinsulinemia, inflammation, and oxidative stress seem to contribute to early placental and fetal dysfunction. We will review the pathophysiology underlying these data and try to shed light on the specific underlying mechanisms. 10.1136/bmj.j1
    A clear and present danger: inflammasomes DAMPing down disorders of pregnancy. Khan Raheela N,Hay Daniel P Human reproduction update BACKGROUND:When the normal progression of pregnancy is threatened, inflammatory processes are often amplified in order to minimize detrimental effects and eliminate noxious agents. Inflammasomes are unique, intracellular, multiprotein assemblies that enable caspase-1 mediated proteolytic processing of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β, levels of which are elevated in some forms of preterm birth and maternal metabolic disorders. METHODS:A comprehensive review based on a search of PubMed and Medline for terms and combinations of terms incorporating 'inflammation', 'inflammasome', 'pregnancy', 'preterm birth', 'pre-eclampsia', 'interleukin-1', 'caspase-1' and others selected to capture key articles. RESULTS:In the decade since the discovery of the inflammasome, between January 2002 and June 2014 over 2200 articles have been published. Articles in the reproductive field are scarce but there is clear evidence for a role of the inflammasome axis in pregnancy, preterm birth and the maternal metabolic syndrome. CONCLUSION:Further investigations on the inflammasome in pregnancy are needed in order to elucidate the biology of this unique structure in reproduction. Coordination of maternal, fetal and placental aspects of inflammasome function will potentially yield new information on the detection and transduction of host and non-host signals in the inflammatory response. 10.1093/humupd/dmu059
    Pregnancy Zone Protein Is Associated with Airway Infection, Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation, and Disease Severity in Bronchiectasis. Finch Simon,Shoemark Amelia,Dicker Alison J,Keir Holly R,Smith Alexandria,Ong Samantha,Tan Brandon,Choi Jean-Yu,Fardon Thomas C,Cassidy Diane,Huang Jeffrey T J,Chalmers James D American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine PZP (pregnancy zone protein) is a broad-spectrum immunosuppressive protein believed to suppress T-cell function during pregnancy to prevent fetal rejection. It has not previously been reported in the airway. To characterize PZP in the bronchiectasis airway, including its relationship with disease severity. Label-free liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry was performed for sputum protein profiling of patients with bronchiectasis confirmed by high-resolution computed tomography. Results for patients with and without infection were compared. Sputum and serum PZP was measured by validated ELISA. Airway infection status was established by culture and 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing. Immunofluorescence, ELISA, and electron microscopy were used to identify the cellular source of PZP in neutrophils treated with multiple stimuli. Elevated PZP was identified by label-free liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry as being associated with infection. In a validation study of 124 patients, sputum but not serum concentrations of PZP were significantly associated with the Bronchiectasis Severity Index, the frequency of exacerbations, and symptoms. Airway infection with Proteobacteria such as was associated with higher concentrations of PZP. PZP in sputum was directly related to airway bacterial load. Neutrophils induced to form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) with phorbol myristate acetate released high concentrations of PZP , and fluorescence microscopy confirmed the presence of PZP in NETs, whereas fluorescence and electron microscopy localized PZP to the cytoplasm and nuclei of neutrophils. Effective antibiotic therapy reduced sputum PZP. PZP is released into NETs. We report a novel link between airway infection, NET formation, and disease severity in bronchiectasis during chronic airway inflammation. 10.1164/rccm.201812-2351OC
    Interleukin-33-induced expression of PIBF1 by decidual B cells protects against preterm labor. Huang Bihui,Faucette Azure N,Pawlitz Michael D,Pei Bo,Goyert Joshua W,Zhou Jordan Zheng,El-Hage Nadim G,Deng Jie,Lin Jason,Yao Fayi,Dewar Robert S,Jassal Japnam S,Sandberg Maxwell L,Dai Jing,Cols Montserrat,Shen Cong,Polin Lisa A,Nichols Ronald A,Jones Theodore B,Bluth Martin H,Puder Karoline S,Gonik Bernard,Nayak Nihar R,Puscheck Elizabeth,Wei Wei-Zen,Cerutti Andrea,Colonna Marco,Chen Kang Nature medicine Preterm birth (PTB) is a leading cause of neonatal death worldwide. Intrauterine and systemic infection and inflammation cause 30-40% of spontaneous preterm labor (PTL), which precedes PTB. Although antibody production is a major immune defense mechanism against infection, and B cell dysfunction has been implicated in pregnancy complications associated with PTL, the functions of B cells in pregnancy are not well known. We found that choriodecidua of women undergoing spontaneous PTL harbored functionally altered B cell populations. B cell-deficient mice were markedly more susceptible than wild-type (WT) mice to PTL after inflammation, but B cells conferred interleukin (IL)-10-independent protection against PTL. B cell deficiency in mice resulted in a lower uterine level of active progesterone-induced blocking factor 1 (PIBF1), and therapeutic administration of PIBF1 mitigated PTL and uterine inflammation in B cell-deficient mice. B cells are a significant producer of PIBF1 in human choriodecidua and mouse uterus in late gestation. PIBF1 expression by B cells is induced by the mucosal alarmin IL-33 (ref. 9). Human PTL was associated with diminished expression of the α-chain of IL-33 receptor on choriodecidual B cells and a lower level of active PIBF1 in late gestation choriodecidua. These results define a vital regulatory cascade involving IL-33, decidual B cells and PIBF1 in safeguarding term pregnancy and suggest new therapeutic approaches based on IL-33 and PIBF1 to prevent human PTL. 10.1038/nm.4244
    Regulatory T cells in embryo implantation and the immune response to pregnancy. Robertson Sarah A,Care Alison S,Moldenhauer Lachlan M The Journal of clinical investigation At implantation, the embryo expresses paternally derived alloantigens and evokes inflammation that can threaten reproductive success. To ensure a robust placenta and sustainable pregnancy, an active state of maternal immune tolerance mediated by CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) is essential. Tregs operate to inhibit effector immunity, contain inflammation, and support maternal vascular adaptations, thereby facilitating trophoblast invasion and placental access to the maternal blood supply. Insufficient Treg numbers or inadequate functional competence are implicated in idiopathic infertility and recurrent miscarriage as well as later-onset pregnancy complications stemming from placental insufficiency, including preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. In this Review, we summarize the mechanisms acting in the conception environment to drive the Treg response and discuss prospects for targeting the T cell compartment to alleviate immune-based reproductive disorders. 10.1172/JCI122182
    Female-biased embryonic death from inflammation induced by genomic instability. Nature Genomic instability can trigger cellular responses that include checkpoint activation, senescence and inflammation. Although genomic instability has been extensively studied in cell culture and cancer paradigms, little is known about its effect during embryonic development, a period of rapid cellular proliferation. Here we report that mutations in the heterohexameric minichromosome maintenance complex-the DNA replicative helicase comprising MCM2 to MCM7-that cause genomic instability render female mouse embryos markedly more susceptible than males to embryonic lethality. This bias was not attributable to X chromosome-inactivation defects, differential replication licensing or X versus Y chromosome size, but rather to 'maleness'-XX embryos could be rescued by transgene-mediated sex reversal or testosterone administration. The ability of exogenous or endogenous testosterone to protect embryos was related to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, rescued female embryos that contained mutations in not only the Mcm genes but also the Fancm gene; similar to MCM mutants, Fancm mutant embryos have increased levels of genomic instability (measured as the number of cells with micronuclei) from compromised replication fork repair. In addition, deficiency in the anti-inflammatory IL10 receptor was synthetically lethal with the Mcm4 helicase mutant. Our experiments indicate that, during development, DNA damage associated with DNA replication induces inflammation that is preferentially lethal to female embryos, because male embryos are protected by high levels of intrinsic testosterone. 10.1038/s41586-019-0936-6
    Maternal IL-6 during pregnancy can be estimated from newborn brain connectivity and predicts future working memory in offspring. Rudolph Marc D,Graham Alice M,Feczko Eric,Miranda-Dominguez Oscar,Rasmussen Jerod M,Nardos Rahel,Entringer Sonja,Wadhwa Pathik D,Buss Claudia,Fair Damien A Nature neuroscience Several lines of evidence support the link between maternal inflammation during pregnancy and increased likelihood of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders in offspring. This longitudinal study seeks to advance understanding regarding implications of systemic maternal inflammation during pregnancy, indexed by plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentrations, for large-scale brain system development and emerging executive function skills in offspring. We assessed maternal IL-6 during pregnancy, functional magnetic resonance imaging acquired in neonates, and working memory (an important component of executive function) at 2 years of age. Functional connectivity within and between multiple neonatal brain networks can be modeled to estimate maternal IL-6 concentrations during pregnancy. Brain regions heavily weighted in these models overlap substantially with those supporting working memory in a large meta-analysis. Maternal IL-6 also directly accounts for a portion of the variance of working memory at 2 years of age. Findings highlight the association of maternal inflammation during pregnancy with the developing functional architecture of the brain and emerging executive function. 10.1038/s41593-018-0128-y
    Baby brains reflect maternal inflammation. Rosenberg Monica D Nature neuroscience 10.1038/s41593-018-0134-0
    Interferons and Proinflammatory Cytokines in Pregnancy and Fetal Development. Yockey Laura J,Iwasaki Akiko Immunity Successful pregnancy requires carefully-coordinated communications between the mother and fetus. Immune cells and cytokine signaling pathways participate as mediators of these communications to promote healthy pregnancy. At the same time, certain infections or inflammatory conditions in pregnant mothers cause severe disease and have detrimental impacts on the developing fetus. In this review, we examine evidence for the role of maternal and fetal immune responses affecting pregnancy and fetal development, both under homeostasis and following infection. We discuss immune responses that are necessary to promote healthy pregnancy and those that lead to congenital disorders and pregnancy complications, with a particular emphasis on the role of interferons and cytokines. Understanding the contributions of the immune system in pregnancy and fetal development provides important insights into the pathogenesis underlying maternal and fetal diseases and sheds insights on possible targets for therapy. 10.1016/j.immuni.2018.07.017
    Melatonin modulates autophagy and inflammation protecting human placental trophoblast from hypoxia/reoxygenation. Sagrillo-Fagundes Lucas,Assunção Salustiano Eugênia M,Ruano Rodrigo,Markus Regina P,Vaillancourt Cathy Journal of pineal research Melatonin has been proposed as a possible treatment for the deleterious effects of hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R), such as autophagy, inflammation, and apoptosis. Pathological pregnancies, such as preeclampsia, are associated with placental H/R, and decreased placental melatonin synthesis as well as lower melatonin levels in the placenta and maternal plasma. However, the effects of exogenous melatonin on inflammation and autophagy induced by pregnancy complications associated with H/R await investigation. This study aimed to determine as to whether melatonin protects human primary villous trophoblasts against H/R-induced autophagy, inflammation, and apoptosis. Human primary villous cytotrophoblasts were isolated and immunopurified from normal term placentas. These cells were then exposed or not to 1 mmol/L melatonin for 72 hour in normoxia (8% O ), thereby inducing differentiation into syncytiotrophoblast that was then exposed to H/R (0.5% O , for 4 hour) or normoxia. H/R decreased endogenous melatonin synthesis (by 68%) and interleukin (IL)-10 levels (by 72%), coupled to increased tumor necrosis factor (TNF) (by 114%), IL-6 (by 55%), and NFκB (by 399%), compared to normoxia. Melatonin treatment reversed the H/R effect, restoring IL-10, TNF, and IL-6 levels to those of the normoxia condition. Melatonin, as well as NFκB inhibition, enhanced autophagy activation, consequently increasing syncytiotrophoblast survival in H/R conditions. This study suggests that H/R, which is present in pregnancy complications, inhibits endogenous melatonin production, thereby contributing to reduced syncytiotrophoblast viability. Results indicate that exogenous melatonin treatment may afford protection against H/R-induced damage, thereby enhancing placental cell survival, and contributing to improved fetal outcomes. 10.1111/jpi.12520
    Infertility and reproductive disorders: impact of hormonal and inflammatory mechanisms on pregnancy outcome. Vannuccini Silvia,Clifton Vicki L,Fraser Ian S,Taylor Hugh S,Critchley Hilary,Giudice Linda C,Petraglia Felice Human reproduction update BACKGROUND:Reproductive disorders and infertility are associated with the risk of obstetric complications and have a negative impact on pregnancy outcome. Affected patients often require assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to conceive, and advanced maternal age is a further confounding factor. The challenge is to dissect causation, correlation and confounders in determining how infertility and reproductive disorders individually or together predispose women to poor pregnancy outcomes. METHODS:The published literature, to June 2015, was searched using PubMed, summarizing all evidences concerning the perinatal outcome of women with infertility and reproductive disorders and the potential mechanisms that may influence poor pregnancy outcome. RESULTS:Reproductive disorders (endometriosis, adenomyosis, polycystic ovary syndrome and uterine fibroids) and unexplained infertility share inflammatory pathways, hormonal aberrations, decidual senescence and vascular abnormalities that may impair pregnancy success through common mechanisms. Either in combination or alone, these disorders results in an increased risk of preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, placental pathologies and hypertensive disorders. Systemic hormonal aberrations, and inflammatory and metabolic factors acting on endometrium, myometrium, cervix and placenta are all associated with an aberrant milieu during implantation and pregnancy, thus contributing to the genesis of obstetric complications. Some of these features have been also described in placentas from ART. CONCLUSIONS:Reproductive disorders are common in women of childbearing age and rarely occur in isolation. Inflammatory, endocrine and metabolic mechanisms associated with these disorders are responsible for an increased incidence of obstetric complications. These patients should be recognized as 'high risk' for poor pregnancy outcomes and monitored with specialized follow-up. There is a real need for development of evidence-based recommendations about clinical management and specific obstetric care pathways for the introduction of prompt preventative care measures. 10.1093/humupd/dmv044
    Women with type 1 diabetes exhibit a progressive increase in gut Saccharomyces cerevisiae in pregnancy associated with evidence of gut inflammation. Bandala-Sanchez Esther,Roth-Schulze Alexandra J,Oakey Helena,Penno Megan A S,Bediaga Naiara G,Naselli Gaetano,Ngui Katrina M,Smith Alannah D,Huang Dexing,Zozaya-Valdes Enrique,Thomson Rebecca L,Brown James D,Vuillermin Peter J,Barry Simon C,Craig Maria E,Rawlinson William D,Davis Elizabeth A,Harris Mark,Soldatos Georgia,Colman Peter G,Wentworth John M,Haynes Aveni,Morahan Grant,Sinnott Richard O,Papenfuss Anthony T,Couper Jennifer J,Harrison Leonard C, Diabetes research and clinical practice AIMS:Studies of the gut microbiome have focused on its bacterial composition. We aimed to characterize the gut fungal microbiome (mycobiome) across pregnancy in women with and without type 1 diabetes. METHODS:Faecal samples (n = 162) were collected from 70 pregnant women (45 with and 25 without type 1 diabetes) across all trimesters. Fungi were analysed by internal transcribed spacer 1 amplicon sequencing. Markers of intestinal inflammation (faecal calprotectin) and intestinal epithelial integrity (serum intestinal fatty acid binding protein; I-FABP), and serum antibodies to Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ASCA) were measured. RESULTS:Women with type 1 diabetes had decreased fungal alpha diversity by the third trimester, associated with an increased abundance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that was inversely related to the abundance of the anti-inflammatory butyrate-producing bacterium Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. Women with type 1 diabetes had higher concentrations of calprotectin, I-FABP and ASCA. CONCLUSIONS:Women with type 1 diabetes exhibit a shift in the gut mycobiome across pregnancy associated with evidence of gut inflammation and impaired intestinal barrier function. The relevance of these findings to the higher rate of pregnancy complications in type 1 diabetes warrants further study. 10.1016/j.diabres.2022.109189
    Inflammation-Induced Adverse Pregnancy and Neonatal Outcomes Can Be Improved by the Immunomodulatory Peptide Exendin-4. Garcia-Flores Valeria,Romero Roberto,Miller Derek,Xu Yi,Done Bogdan,Veerapaneni Chharitha,Leng Yaozhu,Arenas-Hernandez Marcia,Khan Nabila,Panaitescu Bogdan,Hassan Sonia S,Alvarez-Salas Luis Marat,Gomez-Lopez Nardhy Frontiers in immunology Preterm birth is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Inflammation is causally linked to preterm birth; therefore, finding an intervention that dampens maternal and fetal inflammatory responses may provide a new strategy to prevent adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. Using animal models of systemic maternal inflammation [intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)] and fetal inflammation (intra-amniotic administration of LPS), we found that (1) systemic inflammation induced adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes by causing a severe maternal cytokine storm and a mild fetal cytokine response; (2) fetal inflammation induced adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes by causing a mild maternal cytokine response and a severe fetal cytokine storm; (3) exendin-4 (Ex4) treatment of dams with systemic inflammation or fetal inflammation improved adverse pregnancy outcomes by modestly reducing the rate of preterm birth; (4) Ex4 treatment of dams with systemic, but not local, inflammation considerably improved neonatal outcomes, and such neonates continued to thrive; (5) systemic inflammation facilitated the diffusion of Ex4 through the uterus and the maternal-fetal interface; (6) neonates born to Ex4-treated dams with systemic inflammation displayed a similar cytokine profile to healthy control neonates; and (7) treatment with Ex4 had immunomodulatory effects by inducing an M2 macrophage polarization and increasing anti-inflammatory neutrophils, as well as suppressing the expansion of CD8+ regulatory T cells, in neonates born to dams with systemic inflammation. Collectively, these results provide evidence that dampening maternal systemic inflammation through novel interventions, such as Ex4, can improve the quality of life for neonates born to women with this clinical condition. 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01291
    Inflammation with the participation of arachidonic (AA) and linoleic acid (LA) derivatives (HETEs and HODEs) is necessary in the course of a normal reproductive cycle and pregnancy. Kikut Justyna,Komorniak Natalia,Ziętek Maciej,Palma Joanna,Szczuko Małgorzata Journal of reproductive immunology Data on arachidonic (AA) and linoleic (LA) acid derivatives and their role in the reproductive cycle are limited. In order to systematize these reports, 54 scientific investigations were analyzed, which revealed the important role of AA and LA in the planning and course of pregnancy. Ovulation, menstruation, pregnancy, and childbirth are strongly related to the occurrence of physiological inflammatory reactions. Ovulation and menstruation are cyclic tissue remodeling processes that cause changes in the synthesis of inflammation mediators, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Thus, the cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase-5 (5-LOX) pathway for AA transformation is activated. Only the absence of neutrophils during this process differentiates an embryo implantation from a standard inflammatory response. It has been found that in COX-2 deficiency conditions, incorrect embryo implantation and decidual reaction occur; therefore, the mechanism associated with the activation of the nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathway seems to play an important role in the course of embryo implantation. In addition, 12/15-LOX may be key modulators of uterine activity during the implantation process. According to the current state of knowledge, AA derivatives synthesized throughout the cytochrome P450 (CYP) and LOX pathways play a special role in the late pregnancy period. Decreased 5-HETE levels have been related to slowing down the progression of labor, while 11-HETE and 15-HETrE to its acceleration. It has been also proven that renal 20-HETE contents undergo significant changes in the late pregnancy period, which are caused by an increase in their adrenal medulla and vascular synthesis, leading to decrease of blood pressure and an increase of sodium excretion, finally conditioning a normal course of labor. 10.1016/j.jri.2020.103177
    The Impacts of Fish Oil and/or Probiotic Intervention on Low-Grade Inflammation, IGFBP-1 and MMP-8 in Pregnancy: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Clinical Trial. Houttu Noora,Mokkala Kati,Koivuniemi Ella,Pellonperä Outi,Juhila Juuso,Sorsa Timo,Laitinen Kirsi Biomolecules BACKGROUND:We investigated the impact of fish oil and/or probiotics on serum and vaginal inflammatory and metabolic proteins and their relation to the onset of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). METHODS:Overweight/obese pregnant women received fish oil + placebo, probiotics + placebo, fish oil + probiotics or placebo + placebo from early pregnancy until six months postpartum (fish oil: 1.9 g docosahexaenoic acid and 0.22 g eicosapentaenoic acid; probiotics: HN001 and ssp. 420, 10 colony-forming units each). Serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and serum/vaginal (s/v) phosphorylated insulin-like growth factor binding-protein-1 (phIGFBP-1), IGFBP-1 and matrix metalloproteinase 8 (MMP-8) were analyzed. GDM was diagnosed according to 2 h 75 g OGTT. RESULTS:The intervention had no impact on the change in proteins during pregnancy. Nevertheless, s-MMP-8 decreased and s-IGFBP-1 increased more in obese than in overweight women in the fish oil + probiotics group, while a decrease in s-MMP-8 was seen in obese women and an increase was seen in overweight women in the probiotics + placebo group. The late pregnancy s-phIGFBP-1 was higher in women who developed GDM in fish oil + probiotics-group compared to fish oil + placebo-group. The concentrations of s-phIGFBP-1 (635.9 ± 315.3 ng/mL vs. 753.2 ± 335.1 ng/mL, = 0.005) and s-IGFBP-1 (3.78 ± 0.72 ng/mL vs. 3.96 ± 0.69 ng/mL, = 0.042) were lower in early pregnancy in women who developed GDM than in women remaining healthy. CONCLUSIONS:The intervention per se had no impact on the proteins, but obesity and GDM may modify the effect. IGFBPs may affect the development of GDM. 10.3390/biom11010005
    Prenatal administration of IL-1Ra attenuate the neurodevelopmental impacts following non-pathogenic inflammation during pregnancy. Brien Marie-Eve,Hughes Katia,Girard Sylvie Scientific reports Prenatal inflammation negatively affects placental function, subsequently altering fetal development. Pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) are used to mimics infections in preclinical models but rarely detected during pregnancy. Our group previously developed an animal model of prenatal exposure to uric acid (endogenous mediator), leading to growth restriction alongside IL-1-driven placental inflammation (Brien et al. in J Immunol 198(1):443-451, 2017). Unlike PAMPs, the postnatal impact of prenatal non-pathogenic inflammation is still poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated the effects of prenatal uric acid exposure on postnatal neurodevelopment and the therapeutic potential of the IL-1 receptor antagonist; IL-1Ra. Uric acid induced growth restriction and placental inflammation, which IL-1Ra protected against. Postnatal evaluation of both structural and functional aspects of the brain revealed developmental changes. Both astrogliosis and microgliosis were observed in the hippocampus and white matter at postnatal day (PND)7 with IL-1Ra being protective. Decreased myelin density was observed at PND21, and reduced amount of neuronal precursor cells was observed in the Dentate Gyrus at PND35. Functionally, motor impairments were observed as evaluated with the increased time to fully turn upward (180 degrees) on the inclined plane and the pups were weaker on the grip strength test. Prenatal exposure to sterile inflammation, mimicking most clinical situation, induced growth restriction with negative impact on neurodevelopment. Targeted anti-inflammatory intervention prenatally could offer a strategy to protect brain development during pregnancy. 10.1038/s41598-021-02927-3
    Maternal inflammation during pregnancy and offspring psychiatric symptoms in childhood: Timing and sex matter. Mac Giollabhui Naoise,Breen Elizabeth C,Murphy Shannon K,Maxwell Seth D,Cohn Barbara A,Krigbaum Nickilou Y,Cirillo Piera M,Perez Christian,Alloy Lauren B,Drabick Deborah A G,Ellman Lauren M Journal of psychiatric research OBJECTIVE:Maternal infection during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of offspring psychopathology, including depression. As most infections do not cross the placenta, maternal immune responses to infection have been considered as potentially contributing to this relationship. This study examined whether gestational timing of maternal inflammation during pregnancy is associated with offspring internalizing and/or externalizing symptoms during childhood and, further, whether fetal sex moderated this relationship. METHOD:Participants were 737 pregnant women and their offspring who were continuously followed through late childhood. Archived first and second trimester sera were analyzed for markers of inflammation [interleukin 8 (IL-8), IL-6, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-II (sTNF-RII)]. When offspring were aged 9-11, mothers completed a questionnaire assessing psychological symptoms. RESULTS:Multivariate regression analyses indicated that elevated IL-8 in the first trimester was associated with significantly higher levels of externalizing symptoms in offspring. Higher IL-1ra in the second trimester was associated with higher offspring internalizing symptoms. Further, second trimester IL-1ra was associated with increased internalizing symptoms in females only. CONCLUSION:These findings demonstrate that elevated maternal inflammation during pregnancy is associated with the emergence of separate psychological phenotypes and that timing of exposure and fetal sex matter for offspring outcomes. Given that internalizing and externalizing symptoms in childhood increase risk for a variety of mental disorders later in development, these findings potentially have major implications for early intervention and prevention work. 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2019.01.009
    Hyperoside attenuates pregnancy loss through activating autophagy and suppressing inflammation in a rat model. Wei Aiwu,Song Yanli,Ni Tingting,Xiao Huidongzi,Wan Yanrong,Ren Xingxing,Li Huijuan,Xu Guangli Life sciences AIMS:Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is one of the most common obstetrical diseases, which is a manifestation of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) with no effective therapy methods. Autophagy and inflammatory responses both play an important role in the pathogenesis of RPL and hyperoside has been demonstrated to have multifarious bioactivities including enhancing autophagy and anti-inflammation. This study aims to investigate the effect of hyperoside on anticardiolipin (aCL)-IgG fractions-induced pregnancy loss. MAIN METHODS:In the present study, the effect of hyperoside was evaluated in a rat model of pregnancy loss induced by aCL-IgG fractions isolated from serum of APS patients. The fetuses were counted and the placentas were weighted and the protein expressions of inflammation and autophagy were measured by western blot analysis. KEY FINDINGS:Treatment with hyperoside (40 mg/kg) improved pregnancy outcome manifest as increasing the weight of fetuses and decreasing the fetal resorption rate. In addition, hyperoside treatment downregulated the expressions of phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), phosphorylated p70S6 Kinase (S6K) and inhibited the expressions of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) and NF-kB p-p65 in pregnancy loss animal models. SIGNIFICANCE:Hyperoside attenuated pregnancy loss through regulating mTOR/S6K and TLR4/MyD88/NF-kB signaling pathways, which may provide a potential drug candidate for recurrent pregnancy loss therapy. 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117735
    Effects of Maternal Psychological Stress During Pregnancy on Offspring Brain Development: Considering the Role of Inflammation and Potential for Preventive Intervention. Biological psychiatry. Cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging Heightened psychological stress during pregnancy has repeatedly been associated with increased risk for development of behavior problems and psychiatric disorders in offspring. This review covers a rapidly growing body of research with the potential to advance a mechanistic understanding of these associations grounded in knowledge about maternal-placental-fetal stress biology and fetal brain development. Specifically, we highlight research employing magnetic resonance imaging to examine the infant brain soon after birth in relation to maternal psychological stress during pregnancy. This approach increases capacity to identify specific alterations in brain structure and function and to differentiate between effects of pre- versus postnatal exposures. We then focus on the extensive preclinical literature and emerging research in humans that have found that heightened maternal inflammation during pregnancy as a mechanism through which maternal stress influences the developing fetal brain. We place these findings in the context of recent work identifying psychotherapeutic interventions that have been found to be effective for reducing psychological stress among pregnant individuals and that also show promise for reducing inflammation. We argue that a focus on inflammation, among other mechanistic pathways, may lead to a productive and necessary integration of research focused on the effects of maternal psychological stress on offspring brain development and on prevention and intervention studies aimed at reducing maternal psychological stress during pregnancy. In addition to increasing capacity for common measurements and understanding potential mechanisms of action relevant to maternal mental health and fetal neurodevelopment, this focus may inform and broaden thinking about prevention and intervention strategies. 10.1016/j.bpsc.2021.10.012
    Erythropoiesis and Red Cell Indices Undergo Adjustments during Pregnancy in Response to Maternal Body Size but not Inflammation. Vega-Sánchez Rodrigo,Tolentino-Dolores Mari Cruz,Cerezo-Rodríguez Blanca,Chehaibar-Besil Georgette,Flores-Quijano María Eugenia Nutrients During human pregnancy, iron requirements gradually increase, leading to higher amounts of erythropoietin (EPO) and reticulocytes, and changes in erythrocyte size and density. Women with pregestational obesity experience "obesity hypoferremia" during pregnancy, which alters iron homeostasis. In this study we aimed to describe the relationship between EPO and iron nutrition status during nonanemic pregnancy, and to explore whether obesity and inflammation influence erythropoiesis and red cell indices. We conducted a secondary analysis of a cohort followed throughout pregnancy. Participants were nonanemic women assigned to two study groups based on pregestational body mass index (pgBMI): adequate weight (AW, n = 53) or obesity (Ob, n = 40). All received a multivitamin supplement. At gestational ages (GA) 13, 21, 28 and 34, we measured hemoglobin and red cell indices with an ACT-5DIFF hematology counter, and reticulocyte percentage by manual cell counting. EPO, interleukin (IL-6) and markers of iron status, i.e., hepcidin, serum transferrin receptor (sTfr) and ferritin, were measured by ELISA. Bivariate correlations showed that EPO was positively associated with pgBMI, GA, sTfr and IL-6, but negatively associated with hepcidin, ferritin and hemoglobin, and unrelated to iron intake. Generalized linear models adjusted for confounding factors showed that EPO and erythrocyte concentrations were significantly higher in women in the Ob group, while mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and red cell distribution width (RDW) were lower; reticulocytes and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were not different. Differences were not altered when controlling for inflammation (IL-6). These changes suggest that, in addition to altering iron metabolism, a larger maternal body size during pregnancy results in higher erythropoiesis without increasing hemoglobin, which is exhibited in the latter being distributed among more and smaller erythrocytes. 10.3390/nu12040975
    The intersection of race and socioeconomic status is associated with inflammation patterns during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Keenan-Devlin Lauren S,Smart Britney P,Grobman William,Adam Emma K,Freedman Alexa,Buss Claudia,Entringer Sonja,Miller Gregory E,Borders Ann E B American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y. : 1989) BACKGROUND:Preterm birth rates are higher among individuals of lower socioeconomic status and non-White race, which is possibly related to life-course stressors. It is important to understand the underlying mechanisms of these health disparities, and inflammation is a possible pathway to explain the disparities in birth outcomes. OBJECTIVE:In this study, we aimed to determine whether patterns of inflammation differed by maternal race and socioeconomic status. STUDY DESIGN:Seven hundred and forty-four participants in a multi-site, prospective study of pregnancy and birth outcomes provided biological and psychological data between 12'0-20'6 weeks gestation. Participants with recent infection, fever, antibiotics or steroid treatment were excluded. Cytokines including INFɣ, IL-10, IL-13, IL-6, IL-8, and TNFα, and the acute phase protein CRP were measured in serum and values and were log-transformed for normality when appropriate, and a non-orthogonal rotation (Oblimid) was performed to allow the extracted factor to inter-correlate. IFNγ, IL-8, IL-10, IL-6, TNF-a, and IL-13 loaded onto Inflammatory Factor 1 (IF-1), while CRP and IL-6 loaded onto Inflammatory Factor 2 (IF-2). Race and education were collected via self-report during an in-person study visit. Multivariable models were used to determine the association of race and SES with IF-1 and IF-2 during the second trimester, and a mediation model was used to examine if inflammation is on the causal pathway. Models were adjusted for study site, prenatal age, pre-pregnancy BMI, smoking during pregnancy, and gestational age at the time of blood collection. RESULTS:Six hundred and five participants were included in our final analysis, with 61.2% of low or moderate SES, and 35.5% identifying as a person of color (POC). Identifying as a POC, being of low and moderate SES, and being both low-SES and POC or moderate-SES and POC were associated with higher odds of preterm birth and lower birth weight percentile infants. Low SES POC participants had significantly higher IF-1 and IF-2 scores when compared to high-SES White participants. Additionally, higher IF-1 and IF-2 were associated with shorter gestation. In the mediation analysis, we observed a significant direct effect of race/SES on preterm birth; however, the results did not support an indirect pathway where IF-1 or IF-2 acted as mediators. CONCLUSION:Maternal race and SES are significantly associated with inflammatory biomarkers during pregnancy, and when race and SES are considered in combination, they are stronger predictors of adverse pregnancy outcomes than when evaluated separately. 10.1111/aji.13489
    Association of maternal migrant background with inflammation during pregnancy - Results of a birth cohort study in Germany. Spallek Jacob,Scholaske Laura,Duman Elif Aysimi,Razum Oliver,Entringer Sonja Brain, behavior, and immunity BACKGROUND:Health disparities in children of immigrants are prevalent from birth and are hypothesized to - in part - emerge as a biological consequence of migration's unfavorable social and psychological sequelae. The aim of this study was to examine whether maternal migrant background is associated with inflammation during pregnancy - a key pathway by which maternal states and conditions during pregnancy may influence fetal development and subsequent pregnancy, birth, and child developmental and health outcomes. MATERIAL AND METHODS:Data was available from 126 pregnant women who participated in a population based multi-site prospective birth cohort study in Bielefeld and Berlin, Germany. The study included two study visits in mid- and late pregnancy. At each visit, a composite maternal pro-inflammatory score was derived from circulating levels of plasma inflammatory markers (IL-6, CRP). Migrant background was defined by country of origin of participants and their parents' (Turkey or other) and generation status (1st or 2nd generation). We applied hierarchical linear models (HLM) in order to quantify the relationship between different migrant background variables and inflammation during pregnancy after adjustment for potential confounders (including socioeconomic status). RESULTS:Migrant background was significantly associated with inflammation during pregnancy. When compared to women without migrant background, levels of inflammation were increased in 1) pregnant women with migrant background in general (B = 0.35, SE = 0.12, p < .01); 2) 1st (B = 0.28, SE = 0.15, p < .10) and 2nd generation (B = 0.40, SE = 0.15, p < .01); 3) women with a Turkish migrant background (B = 0.28, SE = 0.14, p < .10) and women with another migrant background (B = 0.42, SE = 0.15, p < .01); and 4) 2nd generation Turkish origin women (B = 0.38, SE = 0.20, p < .10), 1st generation women with other migrant background (B = 0.44, SE = 0.26, p < .10), and 2nd generation women with other migrant background (B = 0.43, SE = 0.17, p < .05). DISCUSSION:Our findings support a role for maternal inflammation as a pathway of intergenerational transmission of migration-related health inequalities, suggest that the effect seems to persist in 2nd generation immigrants, and highlight the need for future research and targeted interventions in this context. 10.1016/j.bbi.2021.06.010
    High-mobility group box 1 is a driver of inflammation throughout pregnancy. Saito Reis Chelsea A,Padron Justin G,Norman Ing Nainoa D,Kendal-Wright Claire E American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y. : 1989) A proinflammatory response driven by high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is important for the success of both the early stages of pregnancy and parturition initiation. However, the tight regulation of HMGB1 within these two stages is critical, as increased HMGB1 can manifest into pregnancy-related pathologies. Although during the early stages of pregnancy HMGB1 is critical for the development and implantation of the embryo, and uterine decidualization, high levels within the uterine cavity have been linked to pregnancy failure. In addition, chronic inflammation, resultant from increased HMGB1 within the maternal circulation and gestational tissues, also increases the risk for preterm labor, preterm birth, or infant mortality. Due to the link between HMGB1 and several pregnancy pathologies, the possibility of leveraging HMGB1 as a biomarker has been assessed. However, data are limited that demonstrate how known HMGB1 inhibitors could reduce inflammation within pregnancy. Thus, further research is warranted to improve our understanding of the potential of HMGB1 as a therapeutic target to reduce inflammation within pregnancy. This review aims to describe what is understood about the role of HMGB1 that drives inflammation throughout pregnancy and highlight its potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target within this context. 10.1111/aji.13328
    Maternal Diet, Infection, and Risk of Cord Blood Inflammation in the Bangladesh Projahnmo Pregnancy Cohort. Lee Anne Cc,Cherkerzian Sara,Olson Ingrid E,Ahmed Salahuddin,Chowdhury Nabidul Haque,Khanam Rasheda,Rahman Sayedur,Andrews Chloe,Baqui Abdullah H,Fawzi Wafaie,Inder Terrie E,Nartey Stephanie,Nelson Charles A,Oken Emily,Sen Sarbattama,Fichorova Raina Nutrients Inflammation may adversely affect early human brain development. We aimed to assess the role of maternal nutrition and infections on cord blood inflammation. In a pregnancy cohort in Sylhet, Bangladesh, we enrolled 251 consecutive pregnancies resulting in a term livebirth from July 2016-March 2017. Stillbirths, preterm births, and cases of neonatal encephalopathy were excluded. We prospectively collected data on maternal diet (food frequency questionnaire) and morbidity, and analyzed umbilical cord blood for interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and C-reactive protein. We determined associations between nutrition and infection exposures and cord cytokine elevation (≥75% vs. <75%) using logistic regression, adjusting for confounders. One-third of mothers were underweight (BMI < 18.5 kg/m) at enrollment. Antenatal and intrapartum infections were observed among 4.8% and 15.9% of the sample, respectively. Low pregnancy intakes of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 (folate)), fat-soluble vitamins (D, E), iron, zinc, and linoleic acid (lowest vs. middle tertile) were associated with higher risk of inflammation, particularly IL-8. There was a non-significant trend of increased risk of IL-8 and IL-6 elevation with history of ante-and intrapartum infections, respectively. In Bangladesh, improving micronutrient intake and preventing pregnancy infections are targets to reduce fetal systemic inflammation and associated adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. 10.3390/nu13113792
    Exposure to childhood maltreatment and systemic inflammation across pregnancy: The moderating role of depressive symptomatology. Brain, behavior, and immunity BACKGROUND:Childhood maltreatment (CM) has long-term consequences for dysregulation of the immune system which is particularly pronounced when mental and physical health sequelae have manifested. Higher proinflammatory state has been shown in non-pregnant state in association with CM as well as with depression, one of the most frequent and pernicious psychiatric sequelae of CM. During pregnancy, however, this association is less clear. Given the important role of maternal inflammatory state during pregnancy for fetal, pregnancy, and birth outcomes, we sought to examine the association between CM and proinflammatory state during pregnancy considering the moderating role of maternal depressive symptoms characterized serially across pregnancy. METHODS:A prospective, longitudinal study of 180 healthy pregnant women was conducted with serial assessments in early (12.98 ± 1.71 weeks gestation), mid (20.53 ± 1.38 weeks gestation) and late (30.42 ± 1.4 weeks gestation) pregnancy. Maternal history of CM was assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and the total score was used as an indicator of CM experience. Maternal depressive symptoms were assessed at each pregnancy visit with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Serum concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 were obtained at each pregnancy visit and combined to a composite maternal proinflammatory score. Linear mixed effects models were employed to assess the association between CTQ score, CES-D score, and proinflammatory score during pregnancy, adjusting for potential confounders. RESULTS:Gestational age was associated with the proinflammatory score (B = 0.02; SE = 0.00; p < .001), indicating an increase in inflammation across gestation. Neither CTQ score nor depressive symptoms were independently associated with the proinflammatory score (ps > 0.28). However, the interaction between CTQ score and depressive symptoms was associated with the proinflammatory score (B = 0.03, SE = 0.01, p < .05), indicating higher inflammation across pregnancy with increasing levels of depressive symptoms during pregnancy in women with higher CTQ scores. Exploratory analyses suggested that this interaction was mainly driven by CTQ subscale scores assessing experiences of abuse rather than neglect. CONCLUSIONS:These findings suggest a moderating role of maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy on the association of early life stress with inflammation and thus highlight the importance of the timely assessment of both CM exposure and depressive symptoms which might allow for the development of targeted and individualized interventions to impact inflammation during pregnancy and to ameliorate the detrimental long-term effects of CM. The current findings add to a better understanding of the prenatal biological pathways that may underlie intergenerational transmission of maternal CM. 10.1016/j.bbi.2022.02.004