Effects of hyperoxia on alveolar and pulmonary vascular development in germ-free mice

Academic Article


  • Airway microbial dysbiosis is associated with subsequent bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) development in very preterm infants. However, the relationship of airway microbiome in normal pulmonary development has not been defined. To better understand the role of the airway microbiome, we compared normal and abnormal alveolar and pulmonary vascular development in mice with or without a microbiome. We hypothesized that the lungs of germ-free (GF) mice would have an exaggerated phenotypic response to hyperoxia compared with non- germ-free (NGF) mice. With the use of a novel gnotobiotic hyperoxia chamber, GF and NGF mice were exposed to either normoxia or hyperoxia. Alveolar morphometry, pulmonary mechanics, echocardiograms, inflammatory markers, and measures of pulmonary hypertension were studied. GF and NGF mice in normoxia showed no difference, whereas GF mice in hyperoxia showed protected lung structure and mechanics and decreased markers of inflammation compared with NGF mice. We speculate that an increase in abundance of pathogenic bacteria in NGF mice may play a role in BPD pathogenesis by regulating the proinflammatory signaling and neutrophilic inflammation in lungs. Manipulation of the airway microbiome may be a potential therapeutic intervention in BPD and other lung diseases.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dolma K; Freeman AE; Rezonzew G; Payne GA; Xu X; Jilling T; Edwin Blalock J; Gaggar A; Ambalavanan N; Lal CV
  • Start Page

  • L421
  • End Page

  • L428
  • Volume

  • 318
  • Issue

  • 2