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Role of macrophages in bile acid-induced inflammatory response of fetal lung during maternal cholestasis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Elisa Herraez, Elisa Lozano, Evelyn Poli, Verena Keitel, Daniele De Luca, Catherine Williamson, Jose J G Marin, Rocio I R Macias

Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)N/A
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany)
Issue numberN/A
E-pub ahead of print2013

King's Authors


Infant respiratory distress syndrome (iRDS) in babies born from women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) has been associated with intrauterine exposure to high bile acid levels. Here, we have investigated the role of macrophages in hypercholanemia-induced changes in maternal and fetal lung. Obstructive cholestasis in pregnant rats (OCP) was maintained from day 14 of gestation to term. Gene expression was determined by RT-QPCR, Western blot, and immunofluorescence. The maternal-fetal bile acid pool was radiolabelled using [(3)H]-taurocholate. OCP resulted in increased bile acids in maternal and fetal organs, including lungs. This was accompanied by structural changes in lung tissue, more marked in fetuses (peribronchial edema, collapse of alveolar spaces and deposits of hyaline material in the alveolar lumen), and infiltration of lung tissue by inflammatory cells. The abundance of macrophages and neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was also increased in OCP group. Phospholipase A2-IIA (PLA2), the key enzyme in surfactant degradation, was mainly immunodetected in macrophages, which also expressed the bile acid receptor TGR5. The overall expression of PLA2 was markedly enhanced in maternal and fetal lungs of OCP group and in control maternal BALF cells incubated with bile acids. In neonates born from OCP mothers, the enhanced expression of erythropoietin suggested the presence of hypoxia due to iRDS. In conclusion, these results indicate that the accumulation of bile acids due to maternal cholestasis triggers an inflammatory response in the maternal and fetal lungs together with enhanced macrophage-associated PLA2 expression, which may play an important role in iRDS development.

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