Asthma Pregnancy Alters Postnatal Development of Chromaffin Cells in the Rat Adrenal MedullaReport as inadecuate

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Adrenal neuroendocrine plays an important role in asthma. The activity of the sympathoadrenal system could be altered by early life events. The effects of maternal asthma during pregnancy on the adrenal medulla of offspring remain unknown.

Methodology-Principal Findings

This study aims to explore the influence of maternal asthma during pregnancy on the development and function of adrenal medulla in offspring from postnatal day 3 P3 to postnatal day 60 P60. Asthmatic pregnant rats AP, nerve growth factor NGF-treated pregnant rats NP and NGF antibody-treated pregnant rats ANP were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin OVA; NP and ANP were treated with NGF and NGF antibody respectively. Offspring rats from the maternal group were divided into four groups: offspring from control pregnant rats OCP, offspring from AP OAP, offspring from NP ONP, and offspring from ANP OANP. The expressions of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase PNMT protein in adrenal medulla were analyzed. The concentrations of epinephrine EPI, corticosterone and NGF in serum were measured. Adrenal medulla chromaffin cells AMCC were prone to differentiate into sympathetic nerve cells in OAP and ONP. Both EPI and PNMT were decreased in OAP from P3 to P14, and then reached normal level gradually from P30 to P60, which were lower from birth to adulthood in ONP. Corticosterone concentration increased significantly in OAP and ONP.


Asthma pregnancy may promote AMCC to differentiate into sympathetic neurons in offspring rats and inhibit the synthesis of EPI, resulting in dysfunction of bronchial relaxation.

Author: Xiu-Ming Wu , Cheng-Ping Hu , Xiao-Zhao Li, Ye-Qiang Zou, Jun-Tao Zou, Yuan-Yuan Li, Jun-Tao Feng



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