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J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Jun 25;211(1-2):39-48. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2009.03.011. Epub 2009 Apr 10.

Prenatal exposure to antibodies from mothers of children with autism produces neurobehavioral alterations: A pregnant dam mouse model.

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  • 1Departments of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States.


A pregnant mouse model was used to compare the effect of IgG, administered E13-E18, from mothers of children with autistic disorder (MCAD), to controls (simple- and IgG-) on behavioral testing in offspring. Mice, exposed in-utero to MCAD-IgG, as adolescents, were more active during the first ten minutes of central field novelty testing and, as adults, displayed anxiety-like behavior on a component of the elevated plus maze and had a greater magnitude of startle following acoustic stimulation. On a social interaction paradigm, adult mice had alterations of sociability. Pilot studies of immune markers in MCAD IgG-exposed embryonic brains suggest evidence of cytokine and glial activation. These studies demonstrate that the transplacental passage of IgG from MCAD is capable of inducing long-term behavioral consequences.

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