Autism After Infection, Febrile Episodes, and Antibiotic Use During Pregnancy: An Exploratory Study
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES:Results of animal studies suggest that maternal immune activation during pregnancy causes deficiencies in fetal neurodevelopment. Infectious disease is the most common path to maternal immune activation during pregnancy. The goal of this study was to determine the occurrence of common infections, febrile episodes, and use of antibiotics reported by the mother during pregnancy and the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and infantile autism in the offspring.METHODS:We used a population-based cohort consisting of 96 736 children aged 8 to 14 years and born from 1997 to 2003 in Denmark. Information on infection, febrile episodes, and use of antibiotics was self-reported through telephone interviews during pregnancy and early postpartum. Diagnoses of ASD and infantile autism were retrieved from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register; 976 children (1%) from the cohort were diagnosed with ASD.RESULTS:Overall, we found little evidence that various types of mild common infectious diseases or febrile episodes during pregnancy were associated with ASD/infantile autism. However, our data suggest that maternal influenza infection was associated with a twofold increased risk of infantile autism, prolonged episodes of fever caused a threefold increased risk of infantile autism, and use of various antibiotics during pregnancy were potential risk factors for ASD/infantile autism.CONCLUSIONS:Our results do not suggest that mild infections, febrile episodes, or use of antibiotics during pregnancy are strong risk factors for ASD/infantile autism. The results may be due to multiple testing; the few positive findings are potential chance findings.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Hjördís Osk Atladóttir, Apr 12, 2014
SourceAvailable from: Padideh Karimi
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: ZNF804A (Zinc Finger Protein 804A) has been identified as a candidate gene for schizophrenia (SZ), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and bipolar disorder (BD) in replicated genome wide association studies (GWAS) and by copy number variation (CNV) analysis. Although its function has not been well-characterized, ZNF804A contains a C2H2-type zinc-finger domain, suggesting that it has DNA binding properties, and consequently, a role in regulating gene expression. To further explore the role of ZNF804A on gene expression and its downstream targets, we used a gene knockdown (KD) approach to reduce its expression in neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). KD was accomplished by RNA interference (RNAi) using lentiviral particles containing shRNAs that target ZNF804A mRNA. Stable transduced NPC lines were generated after puromycin selection. A control cell line expressing a random (scrambled) shRNA was also generated. Neuronal differentiation was induced, RNA was harvested after 14 days and transcriptome analysis was carried out using RNA-seq. 1815 genes were found to be differentially expressed at a nominally significant level (p<0.05); 809 decreased in expression in the KD samples, while 1106 increased. Of these, 370 achieved genome wide significance (FDR<0.05); 125 were lower in the KD samples, 245 were higher. Pathway analysis showed that genes involved in interferon-signaling were enriched among those that were down-regulated in the KD samples. Correspondingly, ZNF804A KD was found to affect interferon-alpha 2 (IFNA2)-mediated gene expression. The findings suggest that ZNF804A may affect a differentiating neuron's response to inflammatory cytokines, which is consistent with models of SZ and ASD that support a role for infectious disease, and/or autoimmunity in a subgroup of patients.PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0124597. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0124597 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Maternal infection during pregnancy increases the risk for neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring. Rodent models have played a critical role in establishing maternal immune activation (MIA) as a causal factor for altered brain and behavioral development in offspring. We recently extended these findings to a species more closely related to humans by demonstrating that rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) prenatally exposed to MIA also develop abnormal behaviors. Here, for the first time, we present initial evidence of underlying brain pathology in this novel nonhuman primate MIA model. Pregnant rhesus monkeys were injected with a modified form of the viral mimic polyI:C (poly ICLC) or saline at the end of the first trimester. Brain tissue was collected from the offspring at 3.5years and blocks of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA46) were used to analyze neuronal dendritic morphology and spine density using the Golgi-Cox impregnation method. For each case, 10 layer III pyramidal cells were traced in their entirety, including all apical, oblique and basal dendrites, and their spines. We further analyzed somal size and apical dendrite trunk morphology in 30 cells per case over a 30μm section located 100±10μm from the soma. Compared to controls, apical dendrites of MIA-treated offspring were smaller in diameter and exhibited a greater number of oblique dendrites. These data provide the first evidence that prenatal exposure to MIA alters dendritic morphology in a nonhuman primate MIA model, which may have profound implications for revealing the underlying neuropathology of neurodevelopmental disorders related to maternal infection. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.Brain Behavior and Immunity 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2015.03.009 · 6.13 Impact Factor