Table 1

Possible mechanisms for effects of ante- and postnatal corticosteroids on fetal and newborn lung

Antenatal corticosteroidsPostnatal corticosteroids
Lung growthAccelerated lung maturationAccelerated lung maturation
Accelerated thinning of double capillary loopsAccelerated thinning of double capillary loops
↓ Secondary septal formation↓ Secondary septal formation
? Decreased final alveoli number? Decreased final alveoli number
↓ Body weight
Surfactant↑ Lamellar bodies in type II pneumocytes↑ SP-A, SP-D
↑ SP-B, SP-C, SP-D?↑↓ SP-B, SP-C
↑↓SP-A depending on gestation?↑ Choline incorporation into DPPC
↑ Choline incorporation into DPPC?↑ Concentration of PC
Antioxidant enzymesImproved survival in rat pups? ↑ Antioxidant enzyme activity
↑ Antioxidant enzyme activity
↑ Antioxidant activity
InflammationUnknown↓ Neutrophils
↓ Tracheal fluid elastase
↓ Proinflammatory cytokines
? Effect on growth factors