最新证据!孕妇炎症水平影响后代大脑 | Nature子刊
2018/04/16
炎症是身体对感染、慢性压力或肥胖做出反应的正常部分。然而,在孕妇中,人们认为,炎症加剧会增加儿童患精神疾病或大脑发育问题的风险。近日,一项发表在顶级神经学期刊上的新成果再次证实,孕妇炎症水平会影响后代大脑。


图片来源:Nature Neuroscience(doi:10.1038/s41593-018-0128-y)

4月9日,发表在Nature Neuroscience上题为“Maternal IL-6 during pregnancy can be estimated from newborn brain connectivity and predicts future working memory in offspring”的论文中,科学家们建立了“孕妇炎症”与“新生儿大脑”之间的关联。

具体来说,由俄勒冈健康与科学大学的Damien Fair博士和加州大学尔湾分校的Claudia Buss教授带领的研究小组收集了84位孕妇的血液样本,然后对样本中的细胞因子白介素-6(interleukin-6,IL-6,一种炎症标志物,在胎儿大脑发育中发挥了作用)的水平进行测定。

婴儿出生4周后,科学家们利用功能性核磁共振成像(functional magnetic resonance imaging,fMRI)对他们的大脑连接方式进行评估。2岁时,孩子们还接受了工作记忆性能的(working memory,这是支持学业成就的一项关键技能,经常在精神健康疾病中受到损害)测试。


分析结果显示,“母亲炎症标志物水平的差异”与“新生儿大脑连接以及2岁时的工作记忆得分差异”之间有直接联系。怀孕期间炎症标志物水平较高倾向于导致孩子的工作记忆能力下降。

该研究一个值得注意的方面是,科学家们利用机器学习(人工智能),开发了一种仅基于新生儿大脑功能就能准确评估母亲怀孕期间炎症信息的模型。

参与该研究的Alice Graham博士说:“现在,我们能够利用对新生儿的MRI大脑扫描来准确评估母亲怀孕期间的总体炎症水平。这将提供关于孩子约2年后记忆功能的一些信息,从而助力与早期临床干预相关的研究。

总结来说,作者们认为,这一发现并不意味着,孕妇每次的炎症反应都会对孩子产生负面的影响,但它将帮助研究者们思考,炎症会如何以及在何时影响一个孩子的长期学习发展和精神健康。

Fair博士强调:“与理解免疫系统和炎症如何影响早期大脑发育同样重要的是,我们还需要弄清楚,哪些因素会加剧炎症,以便我们可以有针对性地治疗,帮助降低炎症率和对大脑发育的整体影响。”

责编:风铃

参考资料:

Study confirms that inflammation during pregnancy is linked to baby's brain

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  • Maternal IL-6 during pregnancy can be estimated from newborn brain connectivity and predicts future working memory in offspring

    Several lines of evidence support the link between maternal inflammation during pregnancy and increased likelihood of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders in offspring. This longitudinal study seeks to advance understanding regarding implications of systemic maternal inflammation during pregnancy, indexed by plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentrations, for large-scale brain system development and emerging executive function skills in offspring. We assessed maternal IL-6 during pregnancy, functional magnetic resonance imaging acquired in neonates, and working memory (an important component of executive function) at 2 years of age. Functional connectivity within and between multiple neonatal brain networks can be modeled to estimate maternal IL-6 concentrations during pregnancy. Brain regions heavily weighted in these models overlap substantially with those supporting working memory in a large meta-analysis. Maternal IL-6 also directly accounts for a portion of the variance of working memory at 2 years of age. Findings highlight the association of maternal inflammation during pregnancy with the developing functional architecture of the brain and emerging executive function.

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