, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 316-318
Date: 15 Jan 2013

Aberrant Cerebellar Neurotrophin-3 Expression Induced by Lipopolysaccharide Exposure During Brain Development

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Autism is a developmental disorder affecting communication, social interaction, motor skills, and cerebellar structure and functions. Recent studies have indicated that maternal infection during brain development may be one of the risk factors for autism. We have previously demonstrated the abnormal overexpression of neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) in autistic cerebellum. To examine further the potential link between autism and maternal infection, and specifically NT-3 expression in the cerebellum, we used maternal lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-exposed rat model of infection. In group 1, pregnant female rats were exposed to 200 μg/kg body weight LPS delivered subcutaneously from gestational days (G) 10 to G15, and pups were exposed to LPS from postnatal days (P) 5 to P10, whereas in group 2, pups were exposed to the same dose of LPS from P5 to P10. There was no change in body mass of pups and mothers following LPS treatment. Cerebellar NT-3 levels were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay on P6, P12, and P21. We report here that cerebellar NT-3 levels were elevated in pups of both LPS groups as compared to the controls on P21. Our results suggest that altered neurotrophin levels may affect normal brain development and contribute to autistic pathology.