Background: Epidemiological studies suggest that maternal immune activation (MIA) is a significant risk factor for future neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia (SZ), in offspring. Consistent with findings in SZ research and work in rodent systems, preliminary cross-sectional findings in nonhuman primates suggest that MIA is associated with dopaminergic hyperfunction in young adult offspring. Methods: In this unique prospective longitudinal study, we used [18F]fluoro-l-m-tyrosine positron emission tomography to examine the developmental time course of striatal presynaptic dopamine synthesis in male rhesus monkeys born to dams (n = 13) injected with a modified form of the inflammatory viral mimic, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)], in the late first trimester. Striatal (caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens) dopamine from these animals was compared with that of control offspring born to dams that received saline (n = 10) or no injection (n = 4). Dopamine was measured at 15, 26, 38, and 48 months of age. Prior work with this cohort found decreased prefrontal gray matter volume in MIA offspring versus controls between 6 and 45 months of age. Based on theories of the etiology and development of SZ-related pathology, we hypothesized that there would be a delayed (relative to the gray matter decrease) increase in striatal fluoro-l-m-tyrosine signal in the MIA group versus controls. Results: [18F]fluoro-l-m-tyrosine signal showed developmental increases in both groups in the caudate and putamen. Group comparisons revealed significantly greater caudate dopaminergic signal in the MIA group at 26 months. Conclusions: These findings are highly relevant to the known pathophysiology of SZ and highlight the translational relevance of the MIA model in understanding mechanisms by which MIA during pregnancy increases risk for later illness in offspring.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging|
|State||Published - May 2023|