Altered circadian rhythms in a mouse model of neurodevelopmental disorders based on prenatal maternal immune activation.

TitleAltered circadian rhythms in a mouse model of neurodevelopmental disorders based on prenatal maternal immune activation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsDelorme TC, Srivastava LK, Cermakian N
JournalBrain Behav Immun
Date Published2021 03
KeywordsAnimals, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Circadian Rhythm, Disease Models, Animal, Female, Male, Mice, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Poly I-C, Pregnancy, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects

Individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder, exhibit various sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances that often persist and worsen throughout the lifespan. To study the interaction between circadian rhythm disruption and neurodevelopmental disorders, we utilized a mouse model based on prenatal maternal immune activation (MIA). We hypothesized that MIA exposure would lead to impaired circadian locomotor activity rhythms in adult mouse offspring. We induced MIA by injecting pregnant dams with polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly IC) at embryonic day 9.5, then aged resulting offspring to adulthood. We first confirmed that poly IC injection in pregnant dams elevated plasma levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. We then placed adult offspring in running wheels and subjected them to various lighting conditions. Overall, poly IC-exposed male offspring exhibited altered locomotor activity rhythms, reminiscent of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. In particular, we report increased (subjective) day activity across 3 different lighting conditions: 12 h of light, 12 h of dark (12:12LD), constant darkness (DD) and constant light. Further data analysis indicated that this was driven by increased activity in the beginning of the (subjective) day in 12:12LD and DD, and at the end of the day in 12:12LD. This effect was sex-dependent, as in utero poly IC exposure led overall to much milder alterations in locomotor activity rhythms in female offspring than in male offspring. We also confirmed that the observed behavioral impairments in adult poly IC-exposed offspring were not due to differences in maternal behavior. These data further our understanding of the link between circadian rhythm disruption and neurodevelopmental disorders and may have implications for mitigating risk to the disorders and/or informing the development of circadian-based therapies.

Alternate JournalBrain Behav Immun
PubMed ID33412254
Grant ListPJT-153299 / CAPMC / CIHR / Canada