Preterm birth is a major risk factor for adverse neurological outcomes in ex-preterm children, including motor, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities. N-acetyl-L-cysteine therapy has been used in clinical studies; however, it requires doses that cause significant side effects. In this study, we explore the effect of low dose N-acetyl-L-cysteine therapy, delivered using a targeted, systemic, maternal, dendrimer nanoparticle (DNAC), in a mouse model of intrauterine inflammation. Our results demonstrated that intraperitoneal maternal DNAC administration significantly reduced the preterm birth rate and altered placental immune profile with decreased CD8+ T-cell infiltration. Furthermore, we demonstrated that DNAC improved neurobehavioral outcomes and reduced fetal neuroinflammation and long-term microglial activation in offspring. Our study is the first to provide evidence for the role of CD8+ T-cell in the maternal-fetal interface during inflammation and further support the efficacy of DNAC in preventing preterm birth and prematurity-related outcomes.
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