Neonatal infection induces memory impairments following an immune challenge in adulthood.


Journal Article

Exposure to infectious agents during early postnatal life often alters glucocorticoid responses to stress and immune outcomes in adulthood. The authors examined whether neonatal infection results in memory impairments in adult animals. Rats infected with Escherichia coli (E. coli) as neonates displayed impaired memory for a recently explored context in adulthood. This impairment, however, was only observed in rats that received a peripheral immune challenge (lipopolysaccharide; LPS) immediately following context exposure. Adult rats treated neonatally with E. coli also had decreased hippocampal astrocytes compared with phosphate-buffered saline-treated rats, but displayed increased astrocyte reactivity in the hippocampus and decreased brain interleukin-1beta following lipopolysaccharide. Infection during development appears to alter glia within the hippocampus, which may contribute to altered cytokine responses and memory impairment.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Bilbo, SD; Levkoff, LH; Mahoney, JH; Watkins, LR; Rudy, JW; Maier, SF

Published Date

  • February 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 119 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 293 - 301

PubMed ID

  • 15727533

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15727533

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0084

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0735-7044

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0735-7044.119.1.293


  • eng