A TALE OF TWO IMMUNE MARKERS: MATERNAL IMMUNE ACTIVATION DURING THE 3RD TRIMESTER IS ASSOCIATED WITH NEONATAL FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY AND FETAL TO TODDLER BEHAVIOR

Dustin Scheinost, Yale School of Medicine, new haven, ct, United States (Primary Presenter)

We tested the hypothesis that higher levels of MIA as measured by maternal interleukin (IL)-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP) during the 3rd trimester will be associated with functional connectivity of the core nodes of the salience network, insula and dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC), in neonates. In turn, the strength of connectivity will be associated with fetal and infant behavioral measures. Thirty-two pregnant women participated. During the 3rd trimester, the women underwent blood draws and heart rate variability (FHRV) assessments. IL-6 and CRP were measured using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For the offspring, resting-state functional MRI data during the neonatal period and the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (BSID-III) at 14 months were acquired. Standard seed connectivity from the dACC, and the right/left insula was performed. IL-6 and CRP was correlated with connectivity while controlling for postmenstrual age (PMA) at scan and sex. Regions in which the strength of neonatal connectivity in the salience network correlated with maternal prenatal IL-6 or CRP levels included the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), temporoparietal junction, and basal ganglia. Maternal CRP level correlated inversely with FHRV acquired at the same gestational age. Maternal CRP and IL-6 levels correlated positively with the BSID-III cognitive scale. Finally, neonatal connectivity between the dACC and mPFC correlated with both FHRV and the BSID-III cognitive score. The brain regions of the salience network are critical for performing many cognitive behaviors and emotion regulation, and are consistently implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders, suggesting a pathway for MIA to increase psychiatric risk.

This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health MH093677-05, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences KL2 TR001874 and 000081, and the and Marilyn and James Simons (MJS) Foundation (Whitaker Scholar Developmental Neuropsychiatry program).