Supplement Treatment with NAC and Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids during Pregnancy Partially Prevents Schizophrenia-Related Outcomes in the Poly I:C Rat Model

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Background: Heightened levels of inflammation and oxidative stress are thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. We aimed to assess whether intake of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant drugs during pregnancy prevents later schizophrenia-related outcomes in a neurodevelopmental rat model of this disorder. Methods: Pregnant Wistar rats were injected with polyriboinosinic–polyribocytidilic acid (Poly I:C) or saline and subsequently treated with either N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) or omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) until delivery. Controls rats received no treatment. In the offspring, neuroinflammation and anti-oxidant enzyme activity were assessed on postnatal day (PND) 21, 33, 48, and 90. Behavioral testing was performed at PND 90, followed by post-mortem neurochemical assessment and ex vivo MRI. Results: The supplement treatment led to a quicker restoration of the wellbeing of dams. In the adolescent Poly I:C offspring, the supplement treatment prevented an increase in microglial activity and partially prevented a deregulation in the anti-oxidant defense system. In the adult Poly I:C offspring, supplement treatment partially prevented dopamine deficits, which was paralleled by some changes in behavior. Exposure to omega-3 PUFAs prevented the enlargement of lateral ventricles. Conclusion: Intake of over-the-counter supplements may assist in especially targeting the inflammatory response related to schizophrenia pathophysiology, aiding in diminishing later disease severity in the offspring.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1068
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2023

External IDs

unpaywall 10.3390/antiox12051068
Scopus 85160673580
WOS 000994940300001


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • N-acetyl cysteine, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, preventive treatment, schizophrenia, supplements, Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, Schizophrenia, Preventive treatment, Supplements