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Brain Behav Immun. 2012 Feb;26(2):353-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Effects of risperidone treatment in adolescence on hippocampal neurogenesis, parvalbumin expression, and vascularization following prenatal immune activation in rats.

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Department of Psychology, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.


Maternal infection in pregnancy is an environmental risk factor for the development of schizophrenia and related disorders in the offspring, and this association is recapitulated in animal models using gestational infection or immune stimulation. We have recently shown that behavioral abnormalities and altered hippocampal morphology emerging in adult offspring of dams treated with the viral mimic polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidilic acid (poly I:C) are prevented by treatment with the atypical antipsychotic drug risperidone (RIS) in adolescence. Here we used a battery of cellular markers and Nissl stain to morphometrically analyze different hippocampal cell populations in the offspring of poly I:C and saline-treated mothers that received saline or RIS in adolescence, at different time points of postnatal development. We report that impaired neurogenesis, disturbed micro-vascularization and loss of parvalbumin-expressing hippocampal interneurons, are found in the offspring of poly I:C-treated dams. Most, but not all, of these neuropathological changes are not present in poly I:C offspring that had been treated with RIS. These effects may be part of the complex processes underlying the capacity of RIS treatment in adolescence to prevent structural and behavioral abnormalities deficits in the poly I:C offspring.

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