Prenatal acetaminophen induces liver toxicity in dams, reduces fetal liver stem cells, and increases airway inflammation in adult offspring.


BACKGROUND & AIMS During pregnancy, acetaminophen is one of the very few medications recommended by physicians to treat fever or pain. Recent insights from epidemiological studies suggest an association between prenatal acetaminophen medication and an increased risk for development of asthma in children later in life. The underlying pathogenesis of such association is still unknown. METHODS We aimed to develop a mouse model to provide insights into the effect of prenatal acetaminophen on maternal, fetal and adult offspring's health. The toxic effect of acetaminophen was studied in mice on 1) maternal liver; mirrored by biomarkers of liver injury, centrilobular necrosis, and infiltration of granulocytes; 2) fetal liver; reflected by the frequency of hematopoietic stem cells, and 3) postnatal health; evaluated by the severity of allergic airway inflammation among offspring. RESULTS We observed an increased susceptibility towards acetaminophen-induced liver damage in pregnant mice compared to virgins. Moreover, hematopoietic stem cell frequency in fetal liver declined in response to acetaminophen. Furthermore, a greater severity of airway inflammation was observed in offspring of dams upon prenatal acetaminophen treatment, identified lung infiltration by leukocytes and eosinophil infiltration into the airways. CONCLUSION Our newly developed mouse model on prenatal use of acetaminophen reflects findings from epidemiological studies in humans. The availability of this model will allow improvement in our understanding of how acetaminophen-related hepatotoxicity is operational in pregnant individuals and how an increased risk for allergic diseases in response to prenatal acetaminophen is mediated. Such insights, once available, may change the recommendations for prenatal acetaminophen use.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.12.020

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@article{Karimi2015PrenatalAI, title={Prenatal acetaminophen induces liver toxicity in dams, reduces fetal liver stem cells, and increases airway inflammation in adult offspring.}, author={Khalil Karimi and T Woodrow Kessler and Kristin Thiele and Katherina Ramisch and Annette Erhardt and Peter Huebener and Roja Barikbin and Petra Clara Arck and Gisa Tiegs}, journal={Journal of hepatology}, year={2015}, volume={62 5}, pages={1085-91} }