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Behav Brain Res. 2019 Feb 1;359:886-894. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2018.06.025. Epub 2018 Jun 24.

Prenatal stress disrupts social behavior, cortical neurobiology and commensal microbes in adult male offspring.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States; Neuroscience, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States; Obstetrics & Gynecology, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States; Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States. Electronic address: tamar.gur@osumc.edu.
2
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States; Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States.
3
Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, The Research Institute, Nationwide Children's Hospital, United States; Biosciences Division, College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, United States.
4
Neuroscience, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States; Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States.
5
Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States; Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, The Research Institute, Nationwide Children's Hospital, United States; Biosciences Division, College of Dentistry, The Ohio State University, United States; Department of Pediatrics, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, United States.

Abstract

In utero and early neonatal exposure to maternal stress is linked with psychiatric disorders, and the underlying mechanisms are currently being elucidated. We used a prenatal stressor in pregnant mice to examine novel relationships between prenatal stress exposure, changes in the gut microbiome, and social behavior. Here, we show that males exposed to prenatal stress had a significant reduction in social behavior in adulthood, with increased corticosterone release following social interaction. Male offspring exposed to prenatal stress also had neuroinflammation, decreased oxytocin receptor, and decreased serotonin metabolism in their cortex in adulthood, which are linked to decreased social behavior. Finally, we found a significant difference in commensal microbes, including decreases in Bacteroides and Parabacteroides, in adult male offspring exposed to prenatal stress when compared to non-stressed controls. Our findings indicate that gestation is a critical window where maternal stress contributes to the development of aberrant social behaviors and alterations in cortical neurobiology, and that prenatal stress is sufficient to disrupt the male gut-brain axis into adulthood.

KEYWORDS:

Microbiome; Neuroinflammation; Prenatal stress; Social behavior

PMID:
29949734
PMCID:
PMC6542272
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2018.06.025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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