Pediatrics & Neonatology
Pediatrics and neonatology involves learning more about development and growth through the first stages of life. Early development studies investigate the most vulnerable stages and must overcome significant experimental challenges when working with small, fragile and uncooperative subjects. The research targets a range of issues from spontaneously developed disorders to early life exposure and sensitization.
IN-DEPTH LUNG FUNCTION MEASUREMENTS
During early life development, there are many factors that can affect the healthy growth of the lungs. These can affect the lungs by altering the vascular generation and alveologenesis, and be exhibited as inflammation and airway remodeling. The flexiVent provides unique insight into the mechanics of the lungs, with the ability to quantify the inflammation, track the airway remodeling and partition responses between the central airways and tissues. Longitudinal studies using intubation allow the subject to act as their own baseline and follow the progression of the disease or treatment throughout their growth.
- Pathophysiological features of asthma develop in parallel in house dust mite-exposed neonatal mice. – Llyod et al. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol., 41:281, 2009.
- Breast milk immune complexes are potent inducers of oral tolerance in neonates and prevent asthma development. – Verhasselt et al. Mucosal Immunol., 3:461, 2010.
- Neonatal chlamydial pneumonia induces altered respiratory structure and function lasting into adult life. – Arulanandam et al. Lab Invest. 91:1530, 2011.
AUTOMATED, REPRODUCIBLE EXPOSURE
The inExpose provides computer controlled exposure in small animals, allowing automated protocols and reproducible outcomes. The inExpose is specifically designed for targeted aerosol delivery by controlling air flow rates and aerosol generation devices. The inExpose’s ability to minimize the ingestion with the nose-only tower, or minimize stress using the whole body chamber, provides unique control over the experimental conditions beyond the typical inhalant parameters. These exposures can be performed with dams to sensitize the offspring in utero or on the pups directly.
- Maternal allergen exposure reprograms the developmental lung transcriptome in atopic and normoresponsive rat pups. – Carpe et al. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol., 303:L899-911, 2012.
- In utero cigarette smoke exposure impairs somatic and lung growth in BALB/c mice. – Larcombe et al. Eur Respir J., 2011.
- Characterization of Secondhand Smoke (SHS) and Materno-Fetal Interactions in Receptors for Advanced Glycation End-Products (RAGE)-Targeted Mice. – Winden et al. PhD Dissertation.
REAL-TIME RESPONSE TO GAS CHALLENGES
The lung is one of the last organs to develop in utero, leading to premature infants having underdeveloped lungs. A common protocol following premature birth is to place the infant in a hyperoxic environment to overcome the underdeveloped nature of the lung. The high oxygen content tests the ability to detect and compensate for the increased O2 and can cause complications in the eventual development of the lung, leading to pulmonary sensitivity. Using specifically designed inserts for juvenile subjects allows for accurate monitoring of the spontaneous ventilation in a conscious, unrestrained manner and can be coupled with O2 challenges.
- Prenatal blockade of estradiol synthesis impairs respiratory and metabolic responses to hypoxia in newborn and adult rats. – Joseph et al. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 287:R612, 2004.
- Disruption of adenosinergic modulation of ventilation at rest and during hypercapnia by neonatal caffeine in young rats: role of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors. – Montandon et al. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol., 292:R1621, 2007.