Impact of Maternal Serotonin Transporter Genotype on Placental Serotonin, Fetal Forebrain Serotonin, and Neurodevelopment.

Muller CL, Anacker AM, Rogers TD, Goeden N, Keller EH, Forsberg CG, Kerr TM, Wender C, Anderson GM, Stanwood GD, Blakely RD, Bonnin A, Veenstra-VanderWeele J
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 42 (2): 427-436

PMID: 27550733 · PMCID: PMC5399236 · DOI:10.1038/npp.2016.166

Biomarker, neuroimaging, and genetic findings implicate the serotonin transporter (SERT) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previously, we found that adult male mice expressing the autism-associated SERT Ala56 variant have altered central serotonin (5-HT) system function, as well as elevated peripheral blood 5-HT levels. Early in gestation, before midbrain 5-HT projections have reached the cortex, peripheral sources supply 5-HT to the forebrain, suggesting that altered maternal or placenta 5-HT system function could impact the developing embryo. We therefore used different combinations of maternal and embryo SERT Ala56 genotypes to examine effects on blood, placenta and embryo serotonin levels and neurodevelopment at embryonic day E14.5, when peripheral sources of 5-HT predominate, and E18.5, when midbrain 5-HT projections have reached the forebrain. Maternal SERT Ala56 genotype was associated with decreased placenta and embryonic forebrain 5-HT levels at E14.5. Low 5-HT in the placenta persisted, but forebrain levels normalized by E18.5. Maternal SERT Ala56 genotype effects on forebrain 5-HT levels were accompanied by a broadening of 5-HT-sensitive thalamocortical axon projections. In contrast, no effect of embryo genotype was seen in concepti from heterozygous dams. Blood 5-HT levels were dynamic across pregnancy and were increased in SERT Ala56 dams at E14.5. Placenta RNA sequencing data at E14.5 indicated substantial impact of maternal SERT Ala56 genotype, with alterations in immune and metabolic-related pathways. Collectively, these findings indicate that maternal SERT function impacts offspring placental 5-HT levels, forebrain 5-HT levels, and neurodevelopment.

MeSH Terms (13)

Animals Female Genotype Maternal-Fetal Exchange Mice, Inbred Strains Mice, Transgenic Placenta Pregnancy Prosencephalon Rhombencephalon Serotonin Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins Thalamus

Connections (1)

This publication is referenced by other Labnodes entities:

Links