Influence of innate immune activation on endocrine and metabolic pathways in infancy

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O'Connor, Karen M.
Ashoori, Minoo
Dias, M. L.
Dempsey, Eugene M.
O'Halloran, Ken D.
McDonald, Fiona B.
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Prematurity is the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Premature infants often require extended hospital stays, with increased risk of developing infection compared with term infants. A picture is emerging of wide-ranging deleterious consequences resulting from innate immune system activation in the newborn infant. Those who survive infection have been exposed to a stimulus that can impose long-lasting alterations into later life. In this review, we discuss sepsis-driven alterations in integrated neuroendocrine and metabolic pathways and highlight current knowledge gaps in respect of neonatal sepsis. We review established biomarkers for sepsis and extend the discussion to examine emerging findings from human and animal models of neonatal sepsis that propose novel biomarkers for early identification of sepsis. Future research in this area is required to establish a greater understanding of the distinct neonatal signature of early and late-stage infection, to improve diagnosis, curtail inappropriate antibiotic use and promote precision medicine through a biomarker-guided empirical and adjunctive treatment approach for neonatal sepsis. There is an unmet clinical need to decrease sepsis-induced morbidity in neonates, to limit and prevent adverse consequences in later life and decrease mortality.
Neonatal , Immune , Biomarker , Precision , Sex
O'Connor, K. M., Ashoori, M., Dias, M. L., Dempsey, E., O'Halloran, K. D. and McDonald, F. B. (2021) 'Influence of innate immune activation on endocrine and metabolic pathways in infancy', American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00542.2020
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