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Effect of reduced dietary protein intake on hepatic and plasma essential fatty acid concentrations in the adult female rat: effect of pregnancy and consequences for accumulation of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in fetal liver and brain

Effect of reduced dietary protein intake on hepatic and plasma essential fatty acid concentrations in the adult female rat: effect of pregnancy and consequences for accumulation of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in fetal liver and brain
Effect of reduced dietary protein intake on hepatic and plasma essential fatty acid concentrations in the adult female rat: effect of pregnancy and consequences for accumulation of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in fetal liver and brain
During pregnancy, the accumulation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) in fetal tissues places a substantial demand upon maternal lipid metabolism. As lipid metabolism is intimately linked to aspects of protein metabolism, a reduced protein intake in pregnancy may impair activities of enzymes and transport proteins responsible for supplying LCPUFA to the fetus, thereby compromising fetal development. We have investigated the effect of reduced protein intake on LCPUFA status in the non-pregnant rat and in the pregnant rat, and in fetus at day 20 of gestation. Female rats (n 5 per group) were either mated and fed the control diet (180 g protein/kg) or low-protein diet (90 g protein/kg, LPD) diet throughout pregnancy, or fed the control diet or LPD for 20 d (non-pregnant animals). The fatty acid compositions of maternal liver and plasma, and fetal liver and brain were determined by GC. Feeding the LPD did not lead to any gross changes either in adult or fetal growth, or in total lipid concentrations in adult rat liver. However, the LPD was associated specifically with lower liver (42·6 %) and plasma (19·4 %) phosphatidylcholine (PC), and plasma triacylglycerol (28·6 %) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentrations in pregnant rats and reduced fetal brain PC- (26·1 %) and phosphatidylethanolamine- (25·6 %) DHA concentrations. Together, these results show that variations in maternal dietary protein consumption alter DHA status in pregnancy and modify DHA accumulation into the fetal brain. The present results suggest that lower maternal protein intakes reduce delivery of DHA from the mother to the fetus, which may impair development and function of the fetal brain.
Low-protein diet, Pregnancy, Docosahexaenoic acid, Brain, Rat
0007-1145
379-387
Burdge, G. C.
09d60a07-8ca1-4351-9bf1-de6ffcfb2159
Dunn, R. L.
3f61c31f-9f5a-4583-8f1d-99a6791bdaca
Wootton, S. A.
bf47ef35-0b33-4edb-a2b0-ceda5c475c0c
Jackson, A. A.
c9a12d7c-b4d6-4c92-820e-890a688379ef
Burdge, G. C.
09d60a07-8ca1-4351-9bf1-de6ffcfb2159
Dunn, R. L.
3f61c31f-9f5a-4583-8f1d-99a6791bdaca
Wootton, S. A.
bf47ef35-0b33-4edb-a2b0-ceda5c475c0c
Jackson, A. A.
c9a12d7c-b4d6-4c92-820e-890a688379ef

Burdge, G. C., Dunn, R. L., Wootton, S. A. and Jackson, A. A. (2002) Effect of reduced dietary protein intake on hepatic and plasma essential fatty acid concentrations in the adult female rat: effect of pregnancy and consequences for accumulation of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in fetal liver and brain. British Journal of Nutrition, 88 (4), 379-387. (doi:10.1079/BJN2002664). (PMID:12323087)

Record type: Article

Abstract

During pregnancy, the accumulation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) in fetal tissues places a substantial demand upon maternal lipid metabolism. As lipid metabolism is intimately linked to aspects of protein metabolism, a reduced protein intake in pregnancy may impair activities of enzymes and transport proteins responsible for supplying LCPUFA to the fetus, thereby compromising fetal development. We have investigated the effect of reduced protein intake on LCPUFA status in the non-pregnant rat and in the pregnant rat, and in fetus at day 20 of gestation. Female rats (n 5 per group) were either mated and fed the control diet (180 g protein/kg) or low-protein diet (90 g protein/kg, LPD) diet throughout pregnancy, or fed the control diet or LPD for 20 d (non-pregnant animals). The fatty acid compositions of maternal liver and plasma, and fetal liver and brain were determined by GC. Feeding the LPD did not lead to any gross changes either in adult or fetal growth, or in total lipid concentrations in adult rat liver. However, the LPD was associated specifically with lower liver (42·6 %) and plasma (19·4 %) phosphatidylcholine (PC), and plasma triacylglycerol (28·6 %) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentrations in pregnant rats and reduced fetal brain PC- (26·1 %) and phosphatidylethanolamine- (25·6 %) DHA concentrations. Together, these results show that variations in maternal dietary protein consumption alter DHA status in pregnancy and modify DHA accumulation into the fetal brain. The present results suggest that lower maternal protein intakes reduce delivery of DHA from the mother to the fetus, which may impair development and function of the fetal brain.

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More information

Published date: October 2002
Keywords: Low-protein diet, Pregnancy, Docosahexaenoic acid, Brain, Rat
Organisations: Human Development & Health

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 383830
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383830
ISSN: 0007-1145
PURE UUID: ad0fc6c9-fd49-4dee-aa23-acdc65f93735
ORCID for G. C. Burdge: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7665-2967

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Nov 2015 14:19
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:35

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