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Effects of immune activation during early or late gestation on schizophrenia-related behaviour in adult rat offspring

Meehan, C, Harms, L, Frost, JD, Barreto, R, Todd, J, Schall, U, Shannon Weickert, C, Zavitsanou, K, Michie, PT and Hodgson, DM 2017 , 'Effects of immune activation during early or late gestation on schizophrenia-related behaviour in adult rat offspring' , Brain, Behavior, and Immunity , pp. 8-20 , doi:

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Maternal exposure to infectious agents during gestation has been identified as a significant risk factor for schizophrenia. Using a mouse model, past work has demonstrated that the gestational timing of the immune-activating event can impact the behavioural phenotype and expression of dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission markers in the offspring. In order to determine the inter-species generality of this effect to rats, another commonly used model species, the current study investigated the impact of a viral mimetic Poly (I:C) at either an early (gestational day 10) or late (gestational day 19) time-point on schizophrenia-related behaviour and neurotransmitter receptor expression in rat offspring. Exposure to Poly (I:C) in late, but not early, gestation resulted in transient impairments in working memory. In addition, male rats exposed to maternal immune activation (MIA) in either early or late gestation exhibited sensorimotor gating deficits. Conversely, neither early nor late MIA exposure altered locomotor responses to MK-801 or amphetamine. In addition, increased dopamine 1 receptor mRNA levels were found in the nucleus accumbens of male rats exposed to early gestational MIA. The findings from this study diverge somewhat from previous findings in mice with MIA exposure, which were often found to exhibit a more comprehensive spectrum of schizophrenia-like phenotypes in both males and females, indicating potential differences in the neurodevelopmental vulnerability to MIA exposure in the rat with regards to schizophrenia related changes.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Meehan, C and Harms, L and Frost, JD and Barreto, R and Todd, J and Schall, U and Shannon Weickert, C and Zavitsanou, K and Michie, PT and Hodgson, DM
Keywords: Schizophrenia, working memory, ppi, dopamine, mk-801, locomotion, amphetamine, Maternal immune activation, poly I:C, Rat
Journal or Publication Title: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publisher: Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science
ISSN: 0889-1591
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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