Correlation between maternal and fetal heart rate increases with fetal mouse age in typical development and is disturbed in autism mouse model treated with valproic acid

Namareq Widatalla, Ahsan Khandoker, Chihiro Yoshida, Kana Nakanishi, Miyabi Fukase, Arisa Suzuki, Masatoshi Saito, Yoshitaka Kimura, Yoshiyuki Kasahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is considered a significant behavioral problem that is characterized by impairment in social interaction and communication. It is believed that some cases of ASD originate in the intrauterine maternal environment. Therefore, we hypothesized that there might be qualitative changes in the interaction between the mother and fetus in ASD during the prenatal period, hence, we investigated the similarity patterns between maternal and fetal heart rate (HR). Methods: In this study, we first demonstrate the presence and formation of similarities between maternal and fetal RR interval (RRI) collected from typical developmental mice at different embryonic days (EDs), ED13.5, ED15.5, ED17.5, and ED18.5. The similarities were quantified by means of cross-correlation (CC) and magnitude-squared coherence (MSC) analyses. Correlation analysis between the CC coefficients and EDs and between MSC coefficients and EDs showed that the same coefficients increase with EDs, suggesting that similarities between maternal and fetal RRI are associated with typical fetal development. Next, because maternal and fetal similarities were indicative of development, a comparison analysis between the autism mouse model (injected with valproic acid (VPA)), and the control group (injected with saline) was performed for ED15.5 and ED18.5. Results: The results of the comparison showed that the CC and MSC coefficients of VPA fetuses were significantly lower than that of the control group. The lower coefficients in VPA-treated mice suggest that they could be one of the features of ASD symptoms. The findings of this study can assist in identifying potential ASD causes during the prenatal period.

Original languageBritish English
Article number998695
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • autonomic nervous system
  • fetal mouse development
  • fetal programming
  • maternal–fetal RRI similarity

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