Schizophrenia is characterized by several core behavioral features, in which the gastrointestinal symptoms are frequently reported. Maternal immune activation (MIA) has been developed in a rodent model to study neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia. However, the changes in the gut environment of MIA rats remain largely unknown.
10 mg/kg of polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C) on gestational day 9 was intravenously administered to rats to induce MIA in order to assess changes in behavior, the intestinal barrier and microbiota in offspring.
Maternal immune activation offspring shown increased anxiety as indicated by reduced exploration of central area in open field test and decreased exploration of open arms in elevated plus test. Cognitive impairment of MIA offspring was confirmed by reduced exploration of novel arm in Y maze test and deficiency of PPI. Intestinal muscle thickness became thinner and some specific microbial anomalies previously identified clinically were observed in MIA offspring. In addition, an increase of inflammatory responses was found in the gut of MIA offspring.
Maternal immune activation alters behavior, intestinal integrity, gut microbiota and the gut inflammation in adult offspring.

© 2021 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.