PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of corticosteroids on intestinal and liver interleukin profile in an experimental model of gastroschisis in fetal rats. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats at 19.5 days of gestation had its fetuses operated for the creation of gastroschisis. Two groups of fetuses were studied with and without maternal administration of dexamethasone. Each group was composed of fetuses who underwent gastroschisis (G), control fetuses without manipulation (C) and sham fetuses (S). A dosage of the following interleukins was carried out in fetal intestinal and liver tissues: IL-1, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). The differences between the groups and subgroups were tested by ANOVA with Tukey post-test, with significant values of p<0.05. RESULTS: Dexamethasone led to an increase in intestinal and liver IL-6 (p<0.05) and a decrease in intestinal TNF-α (p<0.001) in fetuses with gastroschisis. CONCLUSION: Corticosteroids had an effect on the intestinal interleukin profile and a small effect on the liver interleukin profile due to immunological immaturity of the fetus, and also of fetuses with gastroschisis. The steroid action may not be exclusively anti-inflammatory, but also pro-inflammatory, varying with time of pregnancy.
Gastroschisis; Inflammation; DexamethasOne; Cytokines; Fetal Development; Rats