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Neuroscience. 2015 May 21;294:69-81. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.03.016. Epub 2015 Mar 14.

Prenatal maternal immune activation increases anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in offspring with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

Author information

1
Immunology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
2
Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
3
Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran; Laboratory of Neuropsychopharmacology and Psychoneuroimmunology, Hayyan Research Institute, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran. Electronic address: aa.salari@yahoo.com.

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought to result from a combination of genetics and environmental factors. Several lines of evidence indicate that significant prevalence of anxiety and depression-related disorders in MS patients can influence the progression of the disease. Although we and others have already reported the consequences of prenatal maternal immune activation on anxiety and depression, less is known about the interplay between maternal inflammation, MS and gender. We here investigated the effects of maternal immune activation with Poly I:C during mid-gestation on the progression of clinical symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE; a mouse model of MS), and then anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors in non-EAE and EAE-induced offspring were evaluated. Stress-induced corticosterone and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) levels in EAE-induced offspring were also measured. Maternal immune activation increased anxiety and depression in male offspring, but not in females. This immune challenge also resulted in an earlier onset of the EAE clinical signs in male offspring and enhanced the severity of the disease in both male and female offspring. Interestingly, the severity of the disease was associated with increased anxiety/depressive-like behaviors and elevated corticosterone or TNF-α levels in both sexes. Overall, these data suggest that maternal immune activation with Poly I:C during mid-pregnancy increases anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors, and the clinical symptoms of EAE in a sex-dependent manner in non-EAE or EAE-induced offspring. Finally, the progression of EAE in offspring seems to be linked to maternal immune activation-induced dysregulation in neuro-immune-endocrine system.

KEYWORDS:

EAE; Poly I:C; anxiety; depression; maternal inflammation; sex differences

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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