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Cell Host Microbe. 2016 Mar 9;19(3):388-99. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.02.009.

Bacterial Peptidoglycan Traverses the Placenta to Induce Fetal Neuroproliferation and Aberrant Postnatal Behavior

Author information

1
Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.
2
Department of Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.
3
Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA. Electronic address: elaine.tuomanen@stjude.org.

Abstract

Maternal infection during pregnancy is associated with adverse outcomes for the fetus, including postnatal cognitive disorders. However, the underlying mechanisms are obscure. We find that bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan (CW), a universal PAMP for TLR2, traverses the murine placenta into the developing fetal brain. In contrast to adults, CW-exposed fetal brains did not show any signs of inflammation or neuronal death. Instead, the neuronal transcription factor FoxG1 was induced, and neuroproliferation leading to a 50% greater density of neurons in the cortical plate was observed. Bacterial infection of pregnant dams, followed by antibiotic treatment, which releases CW, yielded the same result. Neuroproliferation required TLR2 and was recapitulated in vitro with fetal neuronal precursor cells and TLR2/6, but not TLR2/1, ligands. The fetal neuroproliferative response correlated with abnormal cognitive behavior in CW-exposed pups following birth. Thus, the bacterial CW-TLR2 signaling axis affects fetal neurodevelopment and may underlie postnatal cognitive disorders.

PMID:
26962947
PMCID:
PMC4787272
DOI:
10.1016/j.chom.2016.02.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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