Lipopolysaccharide (LPS, endotoxin) is a component of the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria and a potent inducer of severe inflammatory reactions. In mice, systemically administered LPS induces fetal resorption and increases fetal mortality. However, effects of intrauterine LPS on fertility, fetal survival and development have not been reported. In the present study, pigs were used to determine the effect of intrauterine infused LPS on fertility, fetal survival and development. Prior to mating, gilts received intrauterine infusion of either a single dose of saline or increasing doses of LPS in saline using an insemination catheter. On day 30 of pregnancy, gilts were hysterectomized and litter size, fetal length, number of corpora lutea (CL), ovarian and placental weights, and allantoic and amniotic fluid volumes were recorded. Blood progesterone levels from days 10-30 of pregnancy were also determined. Results indicated that intrauterine infusion of LPS had no adverse effects on blood progesterone levels, fertility, fetal survival or fetal development. Intrauterine injection of LPS did cause an increase in fetal weight and amniotic fluid volume (P < 0.05). These results suggest that sperm, oocytes and gametes are tolerant of local LPS challenge and, to some extent, this mechanism protects gametes and conceptuses from maternal response to mating-introduced bacteria and their potential endotoxins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynecology