Terpenoid Backbone Biosynthesis among Pig Hippocampal Pathways Impacted by Stressors

Haley E. Rymut, Laurie A. Rund, Bruce R. Southey, Rodney W Johnson, Sandra L. Rodriguez-Zas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurogenomic changes induced by maternal immune activation (MIA) during gestation and the social stress of weaning can alter brain plasticity in the hippocampus of offspring. The present study furthers the understanding of how these stressors impact hippocampus gene networks. The hippocampus transcriptome was profiled in pigs that were either exposed to MIA or not and were weaned or nursed. Overall, 1576 genes were differentially expressed (FDR-adjusted p-value < 0.05 and |log2 (fold change between pig groups)| > 1.2) in response to the main and interacting effects of MIA, weaning, and sex. Functional analysis identified 17 enriched immunological and neurological pathways in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database. The enrichment of the terpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathway was characterized by genes under-expressed in MIA relative to non-MIA exposed, males relative to females, and weaned relative to nursed pigs. On the other hand, the enrichment of drug addiction pathways was characterized by gene over-expression in MIA relative to non-exposed pigs. Our results indicate that weaning and sex can modify the effects of MIA on the offspring hippocampus. This knowledge can aid in precise identification of molecular targets to reduce the prolonged effects of pre-and postnatal stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number814
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • RNAseq
  • maternal immune activation
  • weaning stress
  • double-hit hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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