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Interaction of the pre- and postnatal environment in the maternal immune activation model


Gundacker, Anna; Cuenca Rico, Laura; Stoehrmann, Peter; Tillmann, Katharina E; Weber-Stadlbauer, Ulrike; Pollak, Daniela D (2023). Interaction of the pre- and postnatal environment in the maternal immune activation model. Discover Mental Health, 3(1):15.

Abstract

Adverse influences during pregnancy are associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for the developing offspring. Maternal psychosocial stress, exposure to infections and nutritional imbalances are known risk factors for neurodevelopmental derangements and according psychiatric and neurological manifestations later in offspring life. In this context, the maternal immune activation (MIA) model has been extensively used in preclinical research to study how stimulation of the maternal immune system during gestation derails the tightly coordinated sequence of fetal neurodevelopment. The ensuing consequence of MIA for offspring brain structure and function are majorly manifested in behavioral and cognitive abnormalities, phenotypically presenting during the periods of adolescence and adulthood. These observations have been interpreted within the framework of the “double-hit-hypothesis” suggesting that an elevated risk for neurodevelopmental disorders results from an individual being subjected to two adverse environmental influences at distinct periods of life, jointly leading to the emergence of pathology. The early postnatal period, during which the caregiving parent is the major determinant of the newborn´s environment, constitutes a window of vulnerability to external stimuli. Considering that MIA not only affects the developing fetus, but also impinges on the mother´s brain, which is in a state of heightened malleability during pregnancy, the impact of MIA on maternal brain function and behavior postpartum may importantly contribute to the detrimental consequences for her progeny. Here we review current information on the interaction between the prenatal and postnatal maternal environments in the modulation of offspring development and their relevance for the pathophysiology of the MIA model.

Abstract

Adverse influences during pregnancy are associated with a range of unfavorable outcomes for the developing offspring. Maternal psychosocial stress, exposure to infections and nutritional imbalances are known risk factors for neurodevelopmental derangements and according psychiatric and neurological manifestations later in offspring life. In this context, the maternal immune activation (MIA) model has been extensively used in preclinical research to study how stimulation of the maternal immune system during gestation derails the tightly coordinated sequence of fetal neurodevelopment. The ensuing consequence of MIA for offspring brain structure and function are majorly manifested in behavioral and cognitive abnormalities, phenotypically presenting during the periods of adolescence and adulthood. These observations have been interpreted within the framework of the “double-hit-hypothesis” suggesting that an elevated risk for neurodevelopmental disorders results from an individual being subjected to two adverse environmental influences at distinct periods of life, jointly leading to the emergence of pathology. The early postnatal period, during which the caregiving parent is the major determinant of the newborn´s environment, constitutes a window of vulnerability to external stimuli. Considering that MIA not only affects the developing fetus, but also impinges on the mother´s brain, which is in a state of heightened malleability during pregnancy, the impact of MIA on maternal brain function and behavior postpartum may importantly contribute to the detrimental consequences for her progeny. Here we review current information on the interaction between the prenatal and postnatal maternal environments in the modulation of offspring development and their relevance for the pathophysiology of the MIA model.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinärwissenschaftliches Institut > Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Life Sciences > Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords:Applied Mathematics, General Mathematics
Language:English
Date:22 August 2023
Deposited On:24 Jan 2024 09:22
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 03:31
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:2731-4383
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s44192-023-00042-5
PubMed ID:37622027
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)