2312 - The emergence of schizophrenia-like symptoms after maternal immune activation over different developmental stages
Maternal immune activation (MIA), caused by an infection during pregnancy, leads to neuronal deficits and has been associated with a significantly increased risk of the offspring to develop schizophrenia. An early detection of symptoms in the prodromal phase of schizophrenia is difficult. So far, changes in social behavior and attention are often reported in the beginning. At the same time, early detection of the disease is important, as it is known to be associated with a better disease progression and less pronounced symptoms. Here we used a rat model to further characterize the emergence of symptoms over development.
MIA was induced by an injection of PolyIC to pregnant rats, on gestational day 15. After birth, maternal care and ultrasonic vocalization towards pups were observed, to take the influence of mother-child interaction into account. Social behavior, anxiety, memory and prepulse inhibition were examined in the offspring during childhood (postnatal day (P) 19-21), adolescence (P39-41) and early adulthood (P59-61). Moreover, dopamine D2 receptor mRNA expression in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as well as GABA and glutamate protein levels in the hippocampus were investigated. Our results will give evidence at what developmental stage early symptoms are detectable and how first signs progress with age.