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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Intrauterine infection/inflammation during pregnancy and offspring brain damages: Possible mechanisms involved

Mahmoud Huleihel1*, Hava Golan12 and Mordechai Hallak13

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the BGU Cancer Research Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

2 Department of Development and Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

3 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel

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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2004, 2:17  doi:10.1186/1477-7827-2-17

Published: 22 April 2004

Abstract

Intrauterine infection is considered as one of the major maternal insults during pregnancy. Intrauterine infection during pregnancy could lead to brain damage of the developmental fetus and offspring. Effects on the fetal, newborn, and adult central nervous system (CNS) may include signs of neurological problems, developmental abnormalities and delays, and intellectual deficits. However, the mechanisms or pathophysiology that leads to permanent brain damage during development are complex and not fully understood. This damage may affect morphogenic and behavioral phenotypes of the developed offspring, and that mice brain damage could be mediated through a final common pathway, which includes over-stimulation of excitatory amino acid receptor, over-production of vascularization/angiogenesis, pro-inflammatory cytokines, neurotrophic factors and apoptotic-inducing factors.