Background: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and supplemental oxygen have become the mainstay of neonatal respiratory support in preterm infants. Although oxygen therapy is associated with respiratory morbidities including bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), the long-term effects of CPAP on lung function are largely unknown. We used a hyperoxia-induced mouse model of BPD to explore the effects of daily CPAP in the first week of life on later respiratory system mechanics. Objective: We wanted to test the hypothesis that daily CPAP in a newborn-mouse model of BPD improves longer-term respiratory mechanics. Methods: Mouse pups from C57BL/6 pregnant dams were exposed to room air (RA) or hyperoxia (50% O<inf>2</inf>, 24 h/day) for the first postnatal week with or without exposure to daily CPAP (6 cm H<inf>2</inf>O, 3 h/day). Respiratory system resistance (Rrs) and compliance (Crs) were measured following a subsequent 2-week period of RA recovery. Additional measurements included radial alveolar and macrophage counts. Results: Mice exposed to hyperoxia had significantly elevated Rrs, decreased Crs, reduced alveolarization and increased macrophage counts at 3 weeks when compared to RA-treated mice. Daily CPAP treatment significantly improved Rrs, Crs and alveolarization and decreased lung macrophage infiltration in the hyperoxia-exposed pups. Conclusions: We have demonstrated that daily CPAP had a longer-term benefit on baseline respiratory system mechanics in a neonatal mouse model of BPD. We speculate that this beneficial effect of CPAP was the consequence of a decrease in the inflammatory response and resultant alveolar injury associated with hyperoxic lung injury in newborns.
- Alveolar development
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
- Continuous positive airway pressure
- Pulmonary mechanics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health