Effects of maternal immune activation on adult neurogenesis in the subventricular zone-olfactory bulb pathway and olfactory discrimination

Yuan Hsuan Liu, Wen Sung Lai, Huey Jen Tsay, Tsu Wei Wang, Jenn Yah Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Maternal infection and maternal immune activation (MIA) during pregnancy increase risks for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Many deficits related to psychiatric disorders are observed in adult offspring of MIA animal models, including behavioral abnormalities, morphological defects in various brain regions, and dysregulation of neurotransmitter systems. It has previously been shown that MIA impairs adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. In this study, we examined whether MIA affects adult neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ)-olfactory bulb (OB) pathway. Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (PolyI:C), a synthetic analog of double-stranded RNA mimicking viral infection, was injected into pregnant mice on gestation day 9.5 to activate immune systems. In the SVZ-OB pathway of adult offspring, different cell types of the neural stem cell lineage responded differently to MIA. Neural stem cells and neuroblasts were decreased. Cell proliferation of transit-amplifying cells was impaired. Consequently, newborn neurons were reduced in the OB. Olfactory deficiency has been suggested as a biomarker for schizophrenia. Here we found that olfactory discrimination was compromised in adult MIA offspring. Taken together, these findings show that MIA leads to defective adult neurogenesis in the SVZ-OB pathway, and the impairment of adult neurogenesis may lead to deficits in olfactory functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Dec 1



  • Adult neurogenesis
  • Olfaction
  • Olfactory bulb
  • Prenatal immune activation
  • Schizophrenia
  • Subventricular zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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