Maternal CD8+ T-cell depletion alleviates intrauterine inflammation-induced perinatal brain injury

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We investigated the mechanisms by which CD8+ T-cell trafficking in placenta contributes to perinatal brain injury by studying effects of maternal CD8+ T-cell depletion (DEP) in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation (IUI). Maternal CD8+ T cells were depleted with anti-CD8+ antibodies. IUI was induced with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). DEP was confirmed using flow cytometry. Preterm birth rate was evaluated. Offspring neurologic sequelae were assessed by Nissl staining, immune arrays, confirmatory individual TaqMan® gene assays, and neurobehavioral tests. DEP did not significantly prevent LPS-induced preterm birth but improved neurobehavioral performance (P < .001) and increased cortical neuronal density (P < .05) in LPS-exposed pups compared to controls. These changes were associated with decreased CCL3 and CXCL10 and increased CCL5 in DEP LPS-exposed mice. We demonstrate that DEP reduces perinatal brain injury following IUI. This supports a role for maternal CD8+ T-cell trafficking in placenta in mediating perinatal brain injury separate from preterm birth mechanisms.

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