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1.  Developmentally determined reduction in CD31 during gestation is associated with CD8+ T cell effector differentiation in preterm infants 
Homeostatic T cell proliferation is more robust during human fetal development. In order to understand the relative effect of normal fetal homeostasis and perinatal exposures on CD8+ T cell behavior in PT infants, we characterized umbilical cord blood CD8+ T cells from infants born between 23–42 weeks gestation. Subjects were recruited as part of the NHLBI-sponsored Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program. Cord blood from PT infants had fewer naïve CD8+ T cells and lower regulatory CD31 expression on both naïve and effector, independent of prenatal exposures. CD8+ T cell in vitro effector function was greater at younger gestational ages, an effect that was exaggerated in infants with prior inflammatory exposures. These results suggest that CD8+ T cells earlier in gestation have loss of regulatory co-receptor CD31 and greater effector differentiation, which may place PT neonates at unique risk for CD8+ T cell-mediated inflammation and impaired T cell memory formation.
PMCID: PMC4658282  PMID: 26232733
CD8+ T cell; neonatal immunity; inflammation; prematurity; fetus; immune dysregulation; bronchopulmonary dysplasia
2.  Inhaled Nitric Oxide Increases Urinary Nitric Oxide Metabolites and Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate in Premature Infants: Relationship to Pulmonary Outcome 
American journal of perinatology  2014;32(3):225-232.
Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) has been tested to prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in premature infants, however, the role of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) is not known. We hypothesized that levels of NO metabolites (NOx) and cGMP in urine, as a noninvasive source for biospecimen collection, would reflect the dose of iNO and relate to pulmonary outcome.
Study Design
Studies were performed on 125 infants who required mechanical ventilation at 7 to 14 days and received 24 days of iNO at 20–2 ppm. A control group of 19 infants did not receive iNO.
In NO-treated infants there was a dose-dependent increase of both NOx and cGMP per creatinine (maximal 3.1- and 2-fold, respectively, at 10–20 ppm iNO) compared with off iNO. NOx and cGMP concentrations at both 2 ppm and off iNO were inversely related to severity of lung disease during the 1st month, and the NOx levels were lower in infants who died or developed BPD at term. NOx was higher in Caucasian compared with other infants at all iNO doses.
Urinary NOx and cGMP are biomarkers of endogenous NO production and lung uptake of iNO, and some levels reflect the severity of lung disease. These results support a role of the NO–cGMP pathway in lung development.
PMCID: PMC5032843  PMID: 24968129
nitric oxide; cyclic GMP; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; premature; urine
3.  Preterm Cord Blood CD4+ T Cells Exhibit Increased IL-6 Production in Chorioamnionitis and Decreased CD4+ T Cells in Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia 
Human immunology  2015;76(5):329-338.
Chorioamnionitis (CA) is associated with premature delivery and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). We hypothesize that preterm infants exposed to CA have reduced suppressive regulatory T cells (Treg) and increased non-regulatory T cell pro-inflammatory cytokines, increasing risk for BPD.
To evaluate cord blood CD4+ T cell regulatory phenotype and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in CA and BPD groups.
Study Design
Cord blood mononuclear cells from infants (GA ≤32 weeks), with or without placental histological evidence of CA (hChorio), were analyzed by flow cytometry. Clinical information was collected by retrospective chart review. Numbers of putative Treg (CD4+FoxP3+CD25+CD127Dim), CD4+ non-Tregs, and CD4+ T cell intracellular cytokine content following in vitro stimulation were compared with CA status and oxygen requirement at 36 weeks postmenstrual age.
Absolute Treg numbers were not different in CA and non-CA exposed samples. However, the infants who developed BPD had a significant decrease in Treg and non-regulatory T cell numbers. Greater IL-6 production was observed in hCA group.
A pro-inflammatory CD4+ T cell status is noted in CA and BPD but the later disease is also associated with decrease in Tregs, suggesting that the development of BPD is marked by distinct inflammatory changes from those of CA exposed infants.
PMCID: PMC4507273  PMID: 25797206
Cord blood mononuclear cell; Chorioamnionitis; Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; CD4+ T cells; IL-6
4.  Immunogenicity of Trivalent Influenza Vaccine in Extremely-Low-Birth-Weight, Premature versus Term Infants 
Influenza vaccine immunogenicity in premature infants is incompletely characterized.
To assess the immunogenicity of trivalent, inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) in extremely low-birth-weight (ELBW, ≤1000 grams birth weight), premature (<30 weeks gestation) infants. We hypothesized that geometric mean titers (GMT) of influenza antibody would be lower in premature than in full-term (≥37 week) infants.
In this prospective, multicenter study, former premature and full-term infants ages, 6–17 months, received 2 doses of TIV during the 2006–7 or 2007–8 influenza seasons. Sera were drawn before dose 1 and 4–6 weeks after dose 2. Antibody was measured by hemagglutination inhibition.
Over two years, 41 premature and 42 full-term infants were enrolled; 36 and 33 of these infants, respectively, had post-vaccination titers available. Premature infants weighed less (mean 1.3 – 1.8 kg difference) at the time of immunization than full-term infants. Pre-vaccination titers did not differ between groups. Premature infants had higher post-vaccination antibody GMT than full-term infants to H1 (2006–7, 1:513 v. 1:91, P=0.03; 2007–8, 1:363 v. 1:189, P=0.02) and B/Victoria (2006–7, 1:51 v. 1:10, P=0.02). More premature than full-term infants had antibody titers ≥ 1:32 to B/Victoria (85% v. 60%, p=0.04) in 2007–8. Two (5%) premature and 8 (19%) full-term infants had adverse events, primarily fever, within 72 hours after vaccination. No child had medically-diagnosed influenza.
Former premature infants had antibody responses to two TIV doses greater than or equal to those of full-term children. Two TIV doses are immunogenic and well tolerated in ELBW, premature infants 6–17 months old.
PMCID: PMC3090695  PMID: 21273938
Premature infant; very low birth weight infant; influenza vaccines; immunization; vaccines
5.  Oxygen Concentration and Pulmonary Hemodynamics in Newborn Lambs with Pulmonary Hypertension 
Pediatric research  2009;66(5):539-544.
The effect of oxygen concentration on lowering pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) during resuscitation in a model of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is not known. PPHN was induced in fetal lambs by ductal ligation 9 d prior to delivery. Following delivery by cesarean section, resuscitation of PPHN lambs with 21%, 50%, or 100% O2 (n=6 each) for 30min produced similar decreases in PVR. Lambs were then ventilated with 50% O2 for 60min and exposed to inhaled NO (iNO-20ppm). Initial resuscitation with 100% O2 significantly impaired the subsequent response to iNO compared to 21% O2 (42±9 vs. 22±4% decrease from baseline PVR). Finally, each lamb was randomly and sequentially ventilated with 10%, 21%, 50%, or 100% O2. PVR decreased with increased concentrations of inhaled O2 up to 50%, there being no additional decrease in PVR with 100% O2. When PVR was correlated with PaO2, the maximal change in PVR was achieved at PaO2 values < 60 mmHg. We conclude that resuscitation with 100% O2 does not enhance pulmonary vasodilation compared to 21% and 50% O2, but impairs the subsequent response to iNO in PPHN lambs. Hypoxia increases PVR but hyperoxia does not confer significant additional pulmonary vasodilation in lambs with PPHN.
PMCID: PMC2782958  PMID: 19680165
6.  Pulmonary Hemodynamics in Neonatal Lambs Resuscitated with 21%, 50%, and 100% Oxygen 
Pediatric research  2007;62(3):313-318.
The effect of resuscitation with varying levels of O2 on pulmonary hemodynamics at birth is not well known. We hypothesized that the decrease in pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) and subsequent response to pulmonary vasoconstrictors and vasodilators will differ following resuscitation with 21%, 50%, or 100%O2 for 30 min at birth in normal term lambs. Lambs at 141 d gestation were delivered by cesarean section and ventilated with 21% (21% Res; n = 6), 50% (50% Res; n = 6), or 100% O2 (100% Res; n = 7) for 30 min followed by ventilation with 21% O2 in all three groups. A greater decrease in PVR was seen with 50% and 100% O2 ventilation than with 21% O2 (0.21 ± 0.02, 0.21 ± 0.02, and 0.34 ± 0.05 mm Hg/mL/min/kg, respectively). Subsequent pulmonary vasoconstriction to hypoxia (10% O2) and the thromboxane analog U46619 (0.5 and 1 μg/kg/min) was similar in all three groups. After inducing a stable elevation in PVR with U46619, impaired pulmonary vasodilation to inhaled NO (59 ± 4, 65 ± 4, and 74 ± 5% of baseline PVR with 21, 50, and 100%Res, respectively) and acetylcholine infusion (67 ± 8, 75 ± 6, and 87 ± 4% of baseline PVR with 21, 50, and 100%Res, respectively) and rebound pulmonary hypertension following their withdrawal were observed in the 100%Res group. We conclude that, while ventilation with 100% O2 at birth results in a greater initial decrease in PVR, subsequent pulmonary vasodilation to NO/acetylcholine is impaired.
PMCID: PMC2150747  PMID: 17622960
7.  Ovine bronchial-derived relaxing factor: changes with development and hyperoxic ventilation 
Recent studies suggest that a bronchial-derived relaxing factor (BrDRF) decreases the contractility of newborn, but not fetal, rat pulmonary arteries (PAs) by a nitric oxide (NO)-mediated mechanism. We studied the effect of an adjacent bronchus on PA contractility to norepinephrine (NE) in late-gestation fetal (n = 7), neonatal (1 day old, n = 9), ventilated neonatal (24-h ventilation from birth with 100% oxygen, n = 9), and adult sheep (n = 6) in the presence and absence of the NO synthase inhibitor Nω-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA). The sheep were anesthetized and killed, and fifth-generation PA rings with and without an attached adjacent bronchus (PA+Br) were contracted in standard tissue baths with NE (10−8–10−6 M). NE contractions were expressed as fraction of KCl (118 mM) contraction and as grams of contraction force. NE contractions were significantly diminished by the presence of an attached bronchus in the neonatal and ventilated neonatal and adult, but not fetal, lambs. Hyperoxic ventilation markedly increased NE contractions in PA and PA+Br. L-NNA significantly enhanced NE contractions in PA+Br in postnatal but not in fetal lambs. Pretreatment with L-NNA abolished the difference between NE contractions in PA and PA+Br in neonatal but not in hyperoxic ventilated neonatal lambs. We conclude that there is a BrDRF that is developmentally regulated and has vascular activity postnatally but not during fetal life. The effect of BrDRF is predominantly mediated by NO in air-breathing neonatal lambs but may involve a second non-NO mediator following hyperoxic ventilation. We speculate that BrDRF may have an important role in postnatal changes in pulmonary arterial reactivity.
PMCID: PMC2094530  PMID: 16575021
nitric oxide; pulmonary vascular resistance; developmental changes
8.  Pulmonary Arterial Contractility in Neonatal Lambs Increases with 100% Oxygen Resuscitation 
Pediatric research  2005;59(1):137-141.
The optimal FiO2 during neonatal resuscitation is a subject of controversy. The effect of exposure to high levels of inspired oxygen on pulmonary arterial (PA) contractility is not known. We studied differences in PA vasoreactivity in term lambs initially ventilated with 21% or 100% oxygen, followed by continued ventilation using oxygen as needed for 24 h, or ventilated with 100% oxygen for 24 h and room air breathing 1-d-old lambs. Term lambs were delivered by cesarean section, intubated, and ventilated with 21% (21%Res) or 100% oxygen (100%Res) for the first 30 min of life. Subsequently, the ventilator FiO2 was adjusted to maintain a PaO2 between 45 and 65 mm Hg for 24 h. Five lambs were ventilated continuously with 100% oxygen (100%24h). Six spontaneously breathing newborn lambs (RA Spont) were studied for comparison. Lambs were killed at 24 h of life and PA rings were isolated and contracted with norepinephrine (NE) and KCl and some were relaxed with A23187 and SNAP in tissue baths. NE and KCl induced contractions were highest in PA isolated from 100%24h lambs, and were significantly higher in 100%Res lambs than PA from 21%Res lambs. Contraction responses in PA from RA Spont lambs were similar to 21%Res lambs. Relaxations to A23187 and SNAP were similar among all ventilated groups. PA contractility to NE and KCl is increased following both brief (30 min) and prolonged (24 h) exposure to 100% oxygen during mechanical ventilation. In contrast, normoxic resuscitation and ventilation do not increase PA contractility.
PMCID: PMC2094524  PMID: 16326983
9.  Late administration of surfactant replacement therapy increases surfactant protein-B content: a randomized pilot study 
Pediatric Research  2012;72(6):613-619.
Surfactant dysfunction may contribute to the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in persistently ventilated preterm infants. We conducted a multicenter randomized, blinded, pilot study to assess the safety and efficacy of late administration of doses of a surfactant protein-B (SP-B)-containing surfactant (calfactant) in combination with prolonged inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) in infants ≤1,000 g birth weight (BW).
We randomized 85 preterm infants ventilated at 7–14 d after birth to receive either late administration of surfactant (up to 5 doses) plus prolonged iNO or iNO alone. Large aggregate surfactant was isolated from daily tracheal aspirates (TAs) for measurement of SP-B content, total protein, and phospholipid (PL).
Late administration of surfactant had minimal acute adverse effects. Clinical status as well as surfactant recovery and SP-B content in tracheal aspirate were transiently improved as compared to the controls; these effects waned after 1 d. The change in SP-B content with surfactant dosing was positively correlated with SP-B levels during treatment (r = 0.50, P = 0.02).
Low SP-B values increased with calfactant administration, but the relationship of this response to SP-B levels suggests that degradation is a contributing mechanism for SP-B deficiency and surfactant dysfunction. We conclude that late therapy with surfactant in combination with iNO is safe and transiently increases surfactant SP-B content, possibly leading to improved short- and long-term respiratory outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3548137  PMID: 23037875

Results 1-9 (9)