Maternal Immune Activation in Pregnant Mice Produces Offspring with Altered Hippocampal Ripples

Biol Pharm Bull. 2019;42(5):666-670. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b19-00028.


Psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder, are associated with sleep disturbances and deficits in memory consolidation; however, the relationship between these symptoms remains unclear. Here, we focused on hippocampal sharp-wave ripples (SWRs), a form of transient high-frequency oscillations that occur during sleep and behavioral immobility and contribute to memory consolidation. We activated the maternal immune system with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I : C)), one of the major pharmacological models of psychiatric disorders, to investigate whether SWR activity is altered in acute slices of the hippocampus from offspring born to poly(I : C)-treated mouse dams. Using robust continuous clustering in a low dimensional space defined by a uniform manifold approximation and projection, we found that mice with prenatal exposure to poly(I : C) exhibited different feature distributions of SWR waveforms without affecting the overall frequencies of SWR events. Based on our results, maternal immune activation leads to altered SWR patterns in offspring.

Keywords: autism; development; hippocampus; infection; sharp wave.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Poly I-C / pharmacology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Virus Diseases*


  • Poly I-C