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Vol. 47. Issue 1.
Pages 2-11 (January - February 2019)
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Vol. 47. Issue 1.
Pages 2-11 (January - February 2019)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.aller.2018.05.004
The effect of neonatal maternal separation on short-chain fatty acids and airway inflammation in adult asthma mice
L. Qiana,b,1, L. Luc,1, L. Huanga,b, Q. Wena,b, J. Xiea,b, W. Jinb, H. Lib, L. Jianga,b,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
a Department of Pediatrics, Zhongda Hospital, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, China
b Teaching and Research Section of Pediatrics, Medical College, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, China
c Department of Neonatology, Suzhou Municipal Hospital, Suzhou, Jiangsu 210002, China
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To investigate neonatal maternal separation (NMS) effects on airway inflammation of asthma and potential mechanism using a mouse model.


80 Balb/c neonatal male mice were randomly assigned to NMS and non-NMS groups. Feces were collected on PND21, 28, 35 and 42 to analyze microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Non-NMS group were then divided into control (group A) and asthma groups (group B), while NMS group was assigned to NMS+asthma (group C) and NMS+SCFAs+asthma groups (group D). Inflammatory cells and eosinophils (EOS) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were assessed. Pathological changes and cytokines in lung tissue were observed. Protein expression of Occludin and E-cadherin in airway epithelial was examined.


The number of S′, diversity index H′ and dominance index D′, as well as content butyric acid in NMS group C were significantly lower than non-NMS group B (p<0.05). Mice in group C had a higher level of inflammatory cells and EOS compared with group A, B and D. EOS moderate infiltration was found in mice of group B, C and D. Mice in group C had significantly higher levels of cytokines and showed slightly increased bronchial epithelium goblet cells and a small amount of visceral secretions. Occludin and E-cadherin expression in lung in B, C and D groups was depressed, and protein level in group C was significantly lower than group B and D.


NMS is associated with exacerbated inflammation of adult asthma by changing intestinal microflora resulting in butanoic acid decline and airway epithelial barrier damage.

Early life stress
Neonatal maternal separation
Intestinal microflora


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