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Type: Journal article
Title: Development of an experimental model of maternal allergic asthma during pregnancy
Author: Clifton, V.
Moss, T.
Wooldridge, A.
Gatford, K.
Liravi, B.
Kim, D.
Muhlhausler, B.
Morrison, J.
Davies, A.
De Matteo, R.
Wallace, M.
Bischof, R.
Citation: Journal of Physiology, 2016; 594(5):1311-1325
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 1469-7793
Statement of
Vicki L. Clifton, Timothy J.M. Moss, Amy L.Wooldridge, Kathryn L. Gatford, Bahar Liravi, Dasom Kim, Beverly S. Muhlhausler, Janna L. Morrison, Andrew Davies, Robert De Matteo, Megan J. Wallace, and Robert J. Bischof
Abstract: Maternal asthma during pregnancy adversely affects pregnancy outcomes but identification of the cause/s, and the ability to evaluate interventions, is limited by the lack of an appropriate animal model. We therefore aimed to characterise maternal lung and cardiovascular responses and fetal-placental growth and lung surfactant levels in a sheep model of allergic asthma. Immune and airway functions were studied in singleton-bearing ewes, either sensitised before pregnancy to house dust mite (HDM, allergic, n = 7) or non-allergic (control, n = 5), and subjected to repeated airway challenges with HDM (allergic group) or saline (control group) throughout gestation. Maternal lung, fetal and placental phenotypes were characterised at 140 ± 1 d gestational age (term, ∼147 d). The eosinophil influx into lungs was greater after HDM challenge in allergic ewes than after saline challenge in control ewes before mating and in late gestation. Airway resistance increased throughout pregnancy in allergic but not control ewes, consistent with increased airway smooth muscle in allergic ewes. Maternal allergic asthma decreased relative fetal weight (-12%) and altered placental phenotype to a more mature form. Expression of surfactant protein B mRNA was 48% lower in fetuses from allergic ewes than controls, with a similar trend for surfactant protein D. Thus, allergic asthma in pregnant sheep modifies placental phenotype, inhibits fetal growth and lung development consistent with observations from human pregnancies. Preconceptional allergen sensitisation and repeated airway challenges in pregnant sheep therefore provides an animal model to identify mechanisms of altered fetal development and adverse pregnancy outcomes caused by maternal asthma in pregnancy.
Keywords: asthma; allergy; pregnancy; fetus; placenta; sheep
Description: First published: 2 September 2015
Rights: © 2015 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2015 The Physiological Society
RMID: 0030032411
DOI: 10.1113/jp270752
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Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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