A Nonhuman Primate Model of Maternal Immune Activation
Maternal infection during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of having a child later develop a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as autism or schizophrenia.
In a mouse model of maternal immune activation (MIA), administration of the viral mimic dsRNA poly(I:C) to pregnant dams results in offspring with increased anxiety and repetitive behaviors as well as deficits in social interaction and communication.
To further evaluate this risk factor, we have adapted the rodent polyI:C model for use in the nonhuman primate.
A modified form of poly(I:C) was delivered to pregnant rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) at the end of either the first or second trimester. A separate control group of pregnant rhesus monkeys received saline injections at these time points. Behavioral development of the MIA-exposed macaque offspring was then systematically evaluated for the first 4 years of life.
MIA-exposed macaque offspring demonstrate atypical repetitive behaviors, vocalizations and social interactions.
MIA in the nonhuman primate model was associated with alterations in brain, behavior and immunological development that resemble features of human neurodevelopmental disorders.