Brain changes in NF-κB1 and epidermal growth factor system markers at peri-pubescence in the spiny mouse following maternal immune activation

Tharini Ketharanathan, Avril Pereira, Udani Reets, David Walker, Suresh Sundram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Environmental risk factors that operate at foetal or neonatal levels increase the vulnerability to schizophrenia, plausibly via stress-immune activation that perturbs the epidermal growth factor (EGF) system, a system critical for neurodevelopment. We investigated potential associations between environmental insults and immune and EGF system changes through a maternal immune activation (MIA) model, using the precocial spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus). After mid-gestation MIA prepubescent offspring showed elevated NF-κB1 protein in nucleus accumbens, decreased EGFR in caudate putamen and a trend for increased PI3K-110δ in ventral hippocampus. Thus, prenatal stress may cause a heightened NF-κB1-mediated immune attenuation of EGF system signalling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113564
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Nov 2020


  • ErbB1/EGFR
  • NF-κB1
  • Schizophrenia

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