Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development  

Maternal infections during pregnancy have been linked to an increased risk of autism and other neurological disorders in the child. Dr. Palmer's laboratory has found that giving a mild infection to rats and mice during pregnancy causes changes in the production of brain cells in the developing offspring, a process which might also contribute to the development of autism in humans. Maternal infection is likely to affect fetal development via proteins that are produced as part of the mother's immune response. These proteins could affect fetal development in several ways, including by acting directly on the developing fetal brain or by impairing the ability of the mother's placenta to supply blood and oxygen to the fetus. In this study, Dr. Palmer and colleagues will evaluate these two hypotheses to determine how maternal immune proteins affect both the placenta and fetal brain development. If placental function is found to be impaired by the immune response, they will test several clinical strategies aimed at preserving placental function to determine whether these therapies allow the fetal brain to develop properly even in the presence of infection. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $127,500.00
Current Award Period 2009-2011
Project Number 3713
Principal Investigator Palmer, Theo
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Immune/Metabolic Pathways
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SA. Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of fever, metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may influence ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years. (Fever studies to be started by 2012.)
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Stanford University
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development | $127,500.00 | 2009 | 3713
Maternal infection and autism: Impact of placental sufficiency and maternal inflammatory responses on fetal brain development | $130,000.00 | 2008 | 3713