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J Neuroimmunol. 2005 Feb;159(1-2):106-12. Epub 2004 Nov 24.

Maternal poly I:C exposure during pregnancy regulates TNF alpha, BDNF, and NGF expression in neonatal brain and the maternal-fetal unit of the rat.

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UNC Schizophrenia Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, CB #7160, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7160, USA.


Maternal infection during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid (poly I:C) or saline was administered to rats to model maternal infection; levels of TNFalpha, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and nerve growth factor (NGF) were determined by ELISA. TNFalpha was significantly increased in maternal plasma, placenta, and amniotic fluid, while it was significantly decreased in fetal liver/spleen and neonatal brain. NGF and BDNF were significantly decreased in the placenta and fetal liver/spleen. There was no change in BDNF or NGF in the fetal or neonatal brain. Changes in TNFalpha, BDNF, and NGF after maternal exposure to poly I:C represent a potential mechanism through which maternal infection increases risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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