Abstract Title:

Maternal pomegranate juice attenuates maternal inflammation-induced fetal brain injury by inhibition of apoptosis, neural nitric oxide synthase and NF-κB in a rat model.

Abstract Source:

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Apr 27. Epub 2018 Apr 27. PMID: 29709511

Abstract Author(s):

Yuval Ginsberg, Nizar Khatib, Noor Saadi, Michael G Ross, Zeev Weinr, Ron Beloosesky

Article Affiliation:

Yuval Ginsberg


OBJECTIVE: Maternal inflammation is a risk factor for neonatal brain injury and future neurological deficits. Pomegranates have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and anti-oxidant activities. We hypothesized that pomegranate juice (POM) may attenuate fetal brain injury in a rat model of maternal inflammation.

METHODS: Pregnant rats (24 total) were randomized for i.p. LPS (100 ug/kg) or saline at time 0 at 18 days of gestation. From day 11 of gestation, 12 dams were provided ad libitum access to drinking water, and 12 dams were provided ad libitum access to drinking water with pomegranate juice (5cc per day), resulting in 4 groups of 6 dams (SAL/SAL, POM/SAL, SAL/LPS, POM/LPS). All dams were sacrificed 4 hours following the injection and maternal blood and fetal brains were collected from the 4 treatment groups. Maternal IL-6 serum levels and fetal brain caspase 3 active form (af), NF-kB p65, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (phospho-nNOS) and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels were determined by ELISA and western blot.

RESULTS: Maternal LPS significantly increased maternal serum IL-6 levels (6039± 1039 vs 66 ± 46pg/ml; p < 0.05) and fetal brain caspase 3 af, NF-kB p65, phospho-nNOS and the pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to the control group (caspase 3 af 0.26 ± 0.01 vs. 0.20 ± 0.01 u; NF-κB p65 0.24 ± 0.01 vs. 0.1 ± 0.01 u; phospho-nNOS 0.23 ± 0.01 vs. 0.11 ± 0.01 u; IL-6 0.25 ± 0.01 vs. 0.09 ± 0.01 u; TNFα 0.26 ± 0.01 vs. 0.12 ± 0.01 u; CCL2 0.23 ± 0.01 vs. 0.1 ± 0.01 u). Maternal supplementation of POM to LPS exposed dams (POM/LPS) significantly reduced maternal serum IL-6 levels (3059± 1121pg/ml, fetal brain: caspase 3 af (0.2 ± 0.01 u), NF-κB p65 (0.22 ± 0.01 u), phospho-nNOS (0.19± 0.01 u) as well as the brain pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNFα and CCL2) compared to LPS group.

CONCLUSION: Maternal POM supplementation may attenuate maternal-inflammation-induced fetal brain injury. POM neuroprotective effects might be secondary to the suppression of both the maternal inflammatory response and inhibition of fetal brain apoptosis, neuronal nitric oxide synthase and NF-kB activation.

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