Systemic inflammation in pregnant obese women is associated with 1.5- to 2-fold increase in serum Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and newborns with lower kidney/body weight ratio but the role of IL-6 in increased susceptibility to chronic kidney (CKD) in adult progeny is not known. Since IL-6 crosses the placental barrier, we administered recombinant IL-6 (10 pg/g) to pregnant mice starting at mid-gestation yielded newborns with lower body (p < 0.001) and kidney (p < 0.001) weights. Histomorphometry indicated decreased nephrogenic zone width (p = 0.039) with increased numbers of mature glomeruli (p = 0.002) and pre-tubular aggregates (p = 0.041). Accelerated maturation in IL-6 newborns was suggested by early expression of podocyte-specific protein podocin in glomeruli, increased 5-methyl-cytosine (LC-MS analysis for CpG DNA methylation) and altered expression of certain genes of cell-cycle and apoptosis (RT-qPCR array-analysis). Western blotting showed upregulated pJAK2/pSTAT3. Thus, treating dams with IL-6 as a surrogate provides newborns to study effects of maternal systemic inflammation on future susceptibility to CKD in adulthood.
Srivastava T, Joshi T, Heruth DP, et al. A mouse model of prenatal exposure to Interleukin-6 to study the developmental origin of health and disease. Sci Rep. 2021;11(1):13260. Published 2021 Jun 24. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-92751-6