Maternal Antibiotic Treatment May Harm Preemies’ Lungs

New research in mice suggests that exposure to antibiotics before birth may impair lung development in premature infants. The study, the first to explore the gut-lung axis in prematurity, is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology and was chosen as an APSselect article for December.

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Germ-free lungs of newborn mice are partially protected against hyperoxia

A novel newborn mouse model probes the effect of high oxygen concentration, or hyperoxia, on lung development of pups that are germ-free — with no microbes in their lungs. The model will show how different types of microbes that colonize human lungs at birth protect or make an infant more susceptible to life-threatening bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

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Preemies Who Develop Chronic Lung Disease Had More Stem Cells at Birth

In the first large-scale clinical study to characterize stem cells from the umbilical cord blood and tissues of premature infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia – a severe, chronic lung disease – researchers found that these babies had more stem cells at birth. They also found that a growth factor (G-CSF), which is responsible for stem cell migration and differentiation, is decreased in these infants.

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