Background: Preterm birth and respiratory support with invasive mechanical ventilation frequently leads to bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). A hallmark feature of BPD is alveolar simplification. For our preterm lamb model of BPD, invasive mechanical ventilation is associated with postnatal feeding intolerance (reduced nutrition) and sedation. In contrast, preterm lambs managed by noninvasive support (NIS) have normal alveolar formation, appropriate postnatal nutrition, and require little sedation. We used the latter, positive-outcome group to discriminate the contribution of reduced nutrition vs. sedation on alveolar simplification. We hypothesized that, restricted nutrition, but not sedation with pentobarbital, contributes to impaired indices of alveolar formation in preterm lambs managed by NIS. Methods: Preterm lambs managed by NIS for 21d were randomized into three groups: NIS control, NIS plus restricted nutrition, and NIS plus excess sedation with pentobarbital. We quantified morphological and biochemical indices of alveolar formation, as well as mesenchymal cell apoptosis and proliferation. Results: Restricted nutrition impaired morphological and biochemical indices of alveolar formation, and reduced mesenchymal cell apoptosis and proliferation. Excess sedation with pentobarbital did not alter these indices, although mesenchymal cell apoptosis was less. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that restricted nutrition, but not excess sedation, contributes to impaired alveolar formation during the evolution of BPD in chronically ventilated preterm lambs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health