Fetal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) has been associated with increased risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. In the adult brain, SSRI therapy regulates p11 (s100a10) expression and alters neurogenesis. The protein p11 indirectly regulates 5-HT signaling through 5-HT1B/D receptors. In the fetal brain, signaling through these receptors modulates axonal circuit formation. We determined whether p11 is expressed in the fetal mouse brain, and whether maternal SSRI exposure affects fetal p11 expression and neurogenesis. The SSRI ± citalopram was administered to pregnant mice from gestational day 8 to 17. Results show that p11 is expressed in fetal thalamic neurons and thalamocortical axons. Furthermore, p11 protein expression is significantly decreased in the fetal thalamus after in utero ±citalopram exposure compared to untreated controls, and neurogenesis is significantly decreased in specific fetal brain regions. These findings reveal differential regulation of p11 expression and altered neurogenesis in the fetal brain as a result of maternal SSRI exposure.
Keywords: P11; SSRI; citalopram; fetal brain; neurogenesis; pregnancy; serotonin.