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Copyright © 2020 the American Physiological Society. During the newborn period, intestinal commensal bacteria influence pulmonary mucosal immunology via the gut-lung axis. Epidemiological studies have linked perinatal antibiotic exposure in human newborns to an increased risk for bronchopulmonary dysplasia, but whether this effect is mediated by the gut-lung axis is unknown. To explore antibiotic disruption of the newborn gut-lung axis, we studied how perinatal maternal antibiotic exposure influenced lung injury in a hyperoxia-based mouse model of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We report that disruption of intestinal commensal colonization during the perinatal period promotes a more severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia phenotype characterized by increased mortality and pulmonary fibrosis. Mechanistically, metagenomic shifts were associated with decreased IL-22 expression in bronchoalveolar lavage and were independent of hyperoxia-induced inflammasome activation. Collectively, these results demonstrate a previously unrecognized influence of the gut-lung axis during the development of neonatal lung injury, which could be leveraged to ameliorate the most severe and persistent pulmonary complication of preterm birth.

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American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology

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