Zinc Supplementation During Pregnancy Alleviates Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Glial Activation and Inflammatory Markers Expression in a Rat Model of Maternal Immune Activation.
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2021 Jan 5. Epub 2021 Jan 5. PMID: 33400154
Maternal immune activation (MIA) model has been profoundly described as a suitable approach to study the pathophysiological mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. Our previous study revealed that prenatal exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced working memory impairments in only male offspring. Based on the putative role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) in working memory process, the current study was conducted to examine the long-lasting effect of LPS-induced MIA on several neuroinflammatory mediators in the PFC of adult male pups. We also investigated whether maternal zinc supplementation can alleviate LPS-induced alterations in this region. Pregnant rats received intraperitoneal injections of either LPS (0.5 mg/kg) or saline on gestation days 15/16 and supplemented with ZnSO4 (30 mg/kg) throughout pregnancy. At postnatal day 60, the density of both microglia and astrocyte cells and the expression levels of IL-6, IL-1β, iNOS, TNF-α, NF-κB, and GFAP were evaluated in the PFC of male pups. Although maternal LPS treatment increased microglia and astrocyte density, number of neurons in the PFC of adult offspring remained unchanged. These findings were accompanied by the exacerbated mRNA levels of IL-6, IL-1β, iNOS, TNF-α, NF-κB, and GFAP as well. Conversely, prenatal zinc supplementation alleviated the mentioned alterations induced by LPS. These findings support the idea that the deleterious effects of prenatal LPS exposure could be attenuated by zinc supplementation during pregnancy. It is of interest to suggest early therapeutic intervention as a valuable approach to prevent neurodevelopmental deficits, following maternal infection. Schematic diagram describing the experimental timeline. On gestation days (GD) 15 and 16, pregnant dams were administered with intraperitoneal injections of either LPS (0.5 mg/kg) or vehicle and supplemented with ZnSO4 (30 mg/kg) throughout pregnancy by gavage. The resulting offspring were submitted to qPCR, immunostaining, and morphological analysis at PND 60. Maternal zinc supplementation alleviated increased expression levels of inflammatory mediators and microglia and astrocyte density induced by LPS in the PFC of treated offspring. PND postnatal day, PFC prefrontal cortex.