Leazer TM, Rogers JM. 2001. Role of the acute phase response and tissue necrosis factor alpha in the developmental toxicity of lipopolysaccharide in the CD-1 mouse. Reprod Toxicol 16:173–179.
The acute phase response (APR) functions to reset metabolic homeostasis following infectious, toxic, or traumatic insult. TNF-alpha, a putative mediator of the APR, has been associated with fetal death in rodents and preterm labor and delivery in humans. We hypothesized that physiologic changes associated with the maternal APR may play a role in adverse embryo/fetal outcome. Pregnant CD-1 mice injected i.p. with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a model inducer of the APR, on gestation day (gd) 9 showed a dose-related increase in embryo death on gd 10. Histology indicated placental infarct and necrosis. Maternal serum TNF-alpha levels, measured by ELISA following administration of 0.05 mg/kg LPS on gd 9, were found to increase significantly and peak within 1 to 1.5 h. Pretreatment with 0.01 mg/kg LPS on gd 8 ameliorated embryotoxicity of the 0.05 mg/kg LPS treatment on gd 9 and also eliminated the increase in serum TNF-alpha. Direct LPS exposure in whole embryo culture was nontoxic. These data support a maternally mediated mechanism of LPS embryolethality, and suggest that TNF-alpha may be an important mediator of this developmental toxicity.