Table of Contents
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 193816, 13 pages
Research Article

Molecular Patterns of Neurodevelopmental Preconditioning: A Study of the Effects of Antenatal Steroid Therapy in a Protein-Restriction Mouse Model

1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryomachi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8574, Japan
2International Advanced Research and Education Organization, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8574, Japan

Received 9 December 2013; Accepted 25 December 2013; Published 13 March 2014

Academic Editors: R. Kimmig, C. J. Petry, and K. Yang

Copyright © 2014 Clarissa Velayo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Prenatal programming secondary to maternal protein restriction renders an inherent susceptibility to neural compromise in neonates and any addition of glucocorticosteroids results in further damage. This is an investigation of consequent global gene activity due to effects of antenatal steroid therapy on a protein restriction mouse model. Methods. C57BL/6N pregnant mice were administered control or protein restricted diets and subjected to either 100 μg/Kg of dexamethasone sodium phosphate with normosaline or normosaline alone during late gestation (E10–E17). Nontreatment groups were also included. Brain samples were collected on embryonic day 17 and analyzed by mRNA microarray analysis. Results. Microarray analyses presented 332 significantly regulated genes. Overall, neurodevelopmental genes were overrepresented and a subset of 8 genes allowed treatment segregation through the hierarchical clustering method. The addition of stress or steroids greatly affected gene regulation through glucocorticoid receptor and stress signaling pathways. Furthermore, differences between dexamethasone-administered treatments implied a harmful effect during conditions of high stress. Microarray analysis was validated using qPCR. Conclusion. The effects of antenatal steroid therapy vary in fetuses according to maternal-fetal factors and environmental stimuli. Defining the key regulatory networks that signal either beneficial or damaging corticosteroid action would result in valuable adjustments to current treatment protocols.