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Neurochem Int. 2019 Jun;126:109-117. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2019.03.009. Epub 2019 Mar 15.

Inflammatory domains modulate autism spectrum disorder susceptibility during maternal nutritional programming.

Author information

1
Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Medicina, Biochemistry Department, Mexico; Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Ciencias de la Salud, Neurometabolism Unit, Mexico.
2
Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Medicina, Department of Pharmacology, Mexico.
3
Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Medicina, Biochemistry Department, Mexico; Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Ciencias de la Salud, Neurometabolism Unit, Mexico. Electronic address: acm590@hotmail.com.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disease which involves functional and structural defects in selective central nervous system (CNS) regions harming capability to process and respond to external stimuli. In addition to genetic background, etiological causes of ASD have not been fully clarified. Maternal immune activation (MIA) during pregnancy have been proposed as a potential etiological cause leading to aberrant synaptic pruning and microglia-mediated neurogenesis impairment. Several clinical studies suggest that pro-inflammatory profile during maternal obesity associates with a higher risk of having a child with autism. In this context, the effect of maternal programing by high fat diet overconsumption during pregnancy sets a pro-inflammatory profile partly dependent on an epigenetic program of immunity which promotes brain micro and macrostructural abnormalities in the offspring that might last through adulthood accompanied by phenotypic changes in ASD subjects. Of note, maternal programming of inflammation during development seems to integrate the CNS and peripheral immune system cross-talk which arrays central inflammatory domains coordinating ASD behavior. In this review, we discuss basic and clinical studies regarding the effects of obesity-induced MIA on peripheral immune cells and microglia priming and their relationship with brain structural alterations in ASD models. Also, we show supportive evidence stating the role of maternal programming on epigenetic gene activation in immune cells of ASD subjects. We suggest that maternal programming by hypercaloric diets during development sets a central and peripheral immune cross-talk which potentially might modulate brain macro and microstructural defects leading to autism susceptibility.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum disorder; Inflammation; Maternal obesity; Maternal programming

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