Scientific reports

Intake of 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone During Juvenile and Adolescent Stages Prevents Onset of Psychosis in Adult Offspring After Maternal Immune Activation.

PMID 27824119


Prenatal infection and subsequent abnormal neurodevelopment of offspring is involved in the etiology of schizophrenia. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high affinity receptor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) signaling plays a key role in the neurodevelopment. Pregnant mice exposed to polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] causes schizophrenia-like behavioral abnormalities in their offspring at adulthood. Here we found that the juvenile offspring of poly(I:C)-treated mice showed cognitive deficits, as well as reduced BDNF-TrkB signaling in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Furthermore, the adult offspring of poly(I:C)-treated mice showed cognitive deficits, prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits, reduced BDNF-TrkB signaling, immunoreactivity of parvalbumin (PV) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) in the prelimbic (PrL) of medial PFC and CA1 of hippocampus. Supplementation of a TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (1 mg/mL in drinking water) during juvenile and adolescent stages could prevent these behavioral abnormalities, reduced BDNF-TrkB signaling in PFC and CA1, and immunoreactivity of PV and PGC-1α in the PrL of medial PFC and CA1 in the adult offspring from poly(I:C)-treated mice. These findings suggest that early intervention by a TrkB agonist in subjects with ultra-high risk for psychosis may reduce the risk of subsequent transition to schizophrenia.