Previous studies demonstrate an association between activation of the maternal immune system during pregnancy and increased risk of neurodevelopmental psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia and autism, in the offspring. Relatively recent findings also suggest that the gut microbiota plays an important role in shaping brain development and behavior. Here we show that maternal immune activation (MIA) accomplished by infection with a mouse-adapted influenza virus during pregnancy induced up-regulation of frontal cortex serotonin 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR) density in the adult offspring, a phenotype previously observed in postmortem frontal cortex of schizophrenic subjects. 5-HT2AR agonist-induced head-twitch behavior was also augmented in this preclinical mouse model.
Read more at: Scientific Reports