Home > Distinct alterations in motor & reward seeking behavior are dependent on the gestational age of exposure to LPS-induced maternal immune activation.

Straley, Megan E and Van Oeffelen, Wesley and Theze, Sarah and Sullivan, Aideen M and O'Mahony, Siobhain M and Cryan, John F and O'Keeffe, Gerard W (2016) Distinct alterations in motor & reward seeking behavior are dependent on the gestational age of exposure to LPS-induced maternal immune activation. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity , epub ahead of print .

The dopaminergic system is involved in motivation, reward and the associated motor activities. Mesodiencephalic dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) regulate motivation and reward, whereas those in the substantia nigra (SN) are essential for motor control. Defective VTA dopaminergic transmission has been implicated in schizophrenia, drug addiction and depression whereas dopaminergic neurons in the SN are lost in Parkinson's disease.

Maternal immune activation (MIA) leading to in utero inflammation has been proposed to be a risk factor for these disorders, yet it is unclear how this stimulus can lead to the diverse disturbances in dopaminergic-driven behaviors that emerge at different stages of life in affected offspring. Here we report that gestational age is a critical determinant of the subsequent alterations in dopaminergic-driven behavior in rat offspring exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced MIA.

Behavioral analysis revealed that MIA on gestational day 16 but not gestational day 12 resulted in biphasic impairments in motor behavior. Specifically, motor impairments were evident in early life, which were resolved by adolescence, but subsequently re-emerged in adulthood. In contrast, reward seeking behaviors were altered in offspring exposed MIA on gestational day 12. These changes were not due to a loss of dopaminergic neurons per se in the postnatal period, suggesting that they reflect functional changes in dopaminergic systems. This highlights that gestational age may be a key determinant of how MIA leads to distinct alterations in dopaminergic-driven behavior across the lifespan of affected offspring.


Item Type:Article
Date:3 June 2016
Publisher:Elsevier
Volume:epub ahead of print
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Theory of substance use > Biological substance use disorder theory
E Concepts in biomedical areas > General life processes (physiology)
F Concepts in psychology > Skills > Coping skills
G Health and disease > Disorder by cause > Developmental disorder
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and protective factors > Risk factors
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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