Maternal magnesium sulfate fetal neuroprotective effects to the fetus: inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells activation in a rodent model

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Maternal magnesium administration has been shown to protect the preterm fetus from white- and gray-matter injury, although the mechanism is unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of the study is to test the following hypotheses: (1) maternal infections/inflammation activate fetal neuronal N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors that up-regulate neuronal nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells pathways; and (2) maternal magnesium sulfate attenuates fetal brain neuronal nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells activation through N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.

STUDY DESIGN:

Pregnant rats at embryonic day 16 and embryonic day 18 (n = 6, 48 total) received injections of intraperitoneal lipopolysaccharide 500 μg/kg or saline at time 0. Dams were randomized for treatment with subcutaneous magnesium sulfate (270 mg/kg) or saline for 2 hours prior to and following lipopolysaccharide/saline injections. At 4 hours after lipopolysaccharide administration, fetal brains were collected from the 4 treatment groups (lipopolysaccharide/saline, lipopolysaccharide/magnesium sulfate, saline/magnesium sulfate, saline/saline), and phosphoneuronal nitric oxide synthase, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells p65, and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 protein levels were determined by Western blot. An additional group of pregnant rats (n = 5) received N-methyl-D-aspartate-receptor antagonist following the lipopolysaccharide injection to study magnesium sulfate protective mechanism.

RESULTS:

Lipopolysaccharide (lipopolysaccharide/saline) significantly increased fetal brain phosphoneuronal nitric oxide synthase, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells p65, and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 protein levels compared to the saline/saline group at both embryonic day 16 (phosphoneuronal nitric oxide synthase 0.23 ± 0.01 vs 0.11 ± 0.01 U; nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells 0.24 ± 0.01 vs 0.14 ± 0.01 U; chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 0.28 ± 0.01 vs .01 ± 0.01 U) and embryonic day 18 (phosphoneuronal nitric oxide synthase 0.28 ± 0.01 vs 0.12 ± 0.01 U; nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells 0.12 ± 0.01 vs 0.1 ± 0.01 U; chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 0.27 ± 0.01 vs 0.11 ± 0.01 U). Magnesium sulfate treatment to lipopolysaccharide dams (lipopolysaccharide/magnesium sulfate) significantly decreased fetal brain phosphoneuronal nitric oxide synthase, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 protein levels compared to lipopolysaccharide/saline dams at both embryonic day 16 (neuronal nitric oxide synthase 0.17 ± 0.02 U; nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells 0.17 ± 0.03 U; chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 0.18 ± 0.01 U) and embryonic day 18 (phosphoneuronal nitric oxide synthase 0.1 ± 0.01 U; nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells 0.09 ± 0.01 U; chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 0.21 ± 0.01 U). Notably, maternal lipopolysaccharide at embryonic day 16 activated nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells twice as often compared to dams induced at embryonic day 18. N-methyl-D-aspartate-receptor antagonist decreased fetal brain phosphoneuronal nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells levels comparable to magnesium sulfate.

CONCLUSION:

Lipopolysaccharide-simulated inflammation during pregnancy may cause brain injury through activation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells pathways and, potentially, production of excitotoxic nitric oxide and inflammatory mediators. The increased susceptibility to brain injury in preterm fetuses may be due to enhanced nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells activation. Magnesium sulfate protective effects may be secondary, in part, to inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells activation and decrease proinflammatory cytokine production through blocking nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells receptors.

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