2020 Volume 69 Issue 2 Pages 250-260
Maternal immune activation (MIA) by an infection is considered to be an important environmental factor of fetal brain development. Recent animal model on MIA induced by polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid, a mimic of viral infection, demonstrates that maternal IL-17A signaling is required for the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-like behaviors of offspring. However, there is little information on bacterial infection. In this study, we aim to elucidate the influence of MIA induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mimic a bacterial infection on fetal brain development. We demonstrated that LPS-induced MIA promoted ASD-like behaviors in mouse offspring. We further found that LPS exposure induced acute phase immune response: elevation of serum IL-17A levels in MIA mothers, upregulation of Il17a mRNA expression and increase of IL-17A-producing γδ T cells in the uterus, and upregulation of Il17ra mRNA expression in the fetal brain. Blocking of IL-17A in LPS-induced MIA ameliorated ASD-like behaviors in offspring. Our data suggest that bacterial-induced maternal IL-17A pathway promotes ASD-like behaviors in offspring.