OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationships between serum cytokine concentrations and chorioamnionitis (CAM) and CAM-related bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in premature infants.
METHODS: Serum was collected at 0 and 7 days after birth from 36 premature infants born at <32 weeks of gestation. We examined the relationships between 30 cytokine concentrations and CAM, BPD, and other perinatal factors.
RESULTS: On day 0, GM-CSF, IL-15, IL-17, IL-2, IL-2R, VEGF, and MIG concentrations were significantly higher in the CAM group (n = 17) than in the non-CAM group (n = 19). These concentrations had decreased by day 7 and were similar in both groups. The IL-12p70 concentration on day 0 was significantly lower in the BPD group (n = 16) than in the non-BPD group (n = 15). BPD incidence was similar between the CAM and non-CAM groups.
CONCLUSIONS: These data support the hypothesis that intrauterine inflammation is not a primary risk factor for BPD. The immunological environment at birth or soon after, rather than intrauterine fetal inflammation (e.g., CAM), is a primary risk factor for BPD onset in preterm infants. Decreased inflammatory responses are particularly relevant, as indicated by the relationship between BPD and low serum IL-12p70 concentrations on day 0.
Serum cytokine concentrations, chorioamnionitis and the onset of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants