Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
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Fetal growth restriction can affect health outcomes in postnatal life. This study tested the hypothesis that the response to an inflammatory pulmonary insult is altered in pediatric fetal growth restricted rats. Using a low-protein diet during gestation and postnatal life, growth-restricted male and female rats and healthy control rats were exposed to an inflammatory insult via the intratracheal instillation of heat-killed bacteria. After 6 h, animal lungs were examined for lung inflammation and status of the surfactant system. The results showed that in response to an inflammatory insult, neutrophil infiltration was decreased in both male and female rats in the growth-restricted animals compared with the control rats. The amount of surfactant was increased in the growth-restricted animals compared with the control rats, regardless of the inflammatory insult. It is concluded that fetal growth restriction results in increased surfactant and altered neutrophil responses following pulmonary insult.