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Genome-wide transcriptional profiling and structural magnetic resonance imaging in the maternal immune activation model of neurodevelopmental disorders


Richetto, Juliet; Chesters, Robert; Cattaneo, Annamaria; Labouesse, Marie A; Gutierrez, Ana Maria Carrillo; Wood, Tobias C; Luoni, Alessia; Meyer, Urs; Vernon, Anthony; Riva, Marco A (2017). Genome-wide transcriptional profiling and structural magnetic resonance imaging in the maternal immune activation model of neurodevelopmental disorders. Cerebral Cortex, 27(6):3397-3413.

Abstract

Prenatal exposure to maternal infection increases the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia and autism. The molecular processes underlying this pathological association, however, are only partially understood. Here, we combined unbiased genome-wide transcriptional profiling with follow-up epigenetic analyses and structural magnetic resonance imaging to explore convergent molecular and neuromorphological alterations in corticostriatal areas of adult offspring exposed to prenatal immune activation. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling revealed that prenatal immune activation caused a differential expression of 116 and 251 genes in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, respectively. A large part of genes that were commonly affected in both brain areas were related to myelin functionality and stability. Subsequent epigenetic analyses indicated that altered DNA methylation of promoter regions might contribute to the differential expression of myelin-related genes. Quantitative relaxometry comparing T1, T2, and myelin water fraction revealed sparse increases in T1 relaxation times and consistent reductions in T2 relaxation times. Together, our multi-system approach demonstrates that prenatal viral-like immune activation causes myelin-related transcriptional and epigenetic changes in corticostriatal areas. Even though these abnormalities do not seem to be associated with overt white matter reduction, they may provide a molecular mechanism whereby prenatal infection can impair myelin functionality and stability.

Abstract

Prenatal exposure to maternal infection increases the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia and autism. The molecular processes underlying this pathological association, however, are only partially understood. Here, we combined unbiased genome-wide transcriptional profiling with follow-up epigenetic analyses and structural magnetic resonance imaging to explore convergent molecular and neuromorphological alterations in corticostriatal areas of adult offspring exposed to prenatal immune activation. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling revealed that prenatal immune activation caused a differential expression of 116 and 251 genes in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens, respectively. A large part of genes that were commonly affected in both brain areas were related to myelin functionality and stability. Subsequent epigenetic analyses indicated that altered DNA methylation of promoter regions might contribute to the differential expression of myelin-related genes. Quantitative relaxometry comparing T1, T2, and myelin water fraction revealed sparse increases in T1 relaxation times and consistent reductions in T2 relaxation times. Together, our multi-system approach demonstrates that prenatal viral-like immune activation causes myelin-related transcriptional and epigenetic changes in corticostriatal areas. Even though these abnormalities do not seem to be associated with overt white matter reduction, they may provide a molecular mechanism whereby prenatal infection can impair myelin functionality and stability.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); maternal immune activation; myelin; poly(I:C); schizophrenia; transcriptome
Date:1 June 2017
Deposited On:31 Jan 2017 10:51
Last Modified:08 Jun 2017 01:02
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1047-3211
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhw320
PubMed ID:27797829

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