Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 303
Objectives: The presence of prebiotics in the neonatal diet is important for stimulation and maturation of the infant microbiome. Recent research suggests provision of particular prebiotics also influences brain development and behavior. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of dietary bovine (BMOS) and human (HMOs, as a combination of 2'-fucosyllactose + lacto-N-neotetraose) milk oligosaccharides on brain development and cognition using a translational piglet model.
Methods: Beginning at 2 d of age, 48 (n = 12 per treatment) male pigs received one of 4 milk replacers formulated to contain: control (CON) [0 g/L BMOS + 0g/L HMOs], BMOS [CON + 6.5 g/L BMOS], HMOs [CON + 1. 5 g/L HMOs], or BMOS + HMOs [CON + 1. 5 g/L HMOs + 6.5 g/L BMOS]. All diets contained a formulation space of 8 g/L that was reserved for addition of dietary test articles, and lactose was used to balance the formulations. At 22 d of age, pigs were tested on the novel object recognition task using delays of 1 h or 2 d. At 32 d of age, pigs were subjected to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures to assess structural brain development.
Results: Pigs in the HMOs group exhibited recognition memory after a 1 h delay (P = 0.038) and pigs in the BMOS + HMOs group exhibited recognition memory after a 2 d delay (P = 0.045). Analysis of relative brain volumes indicated interactive dietary effects for the caudate (P= 0.02), lateral ventricle (P = 0.034), and pons (P = 0.014). Pigs in the BMOS group exhibited smaller (P = 0.038) relative corpus callosum volumes compared with other treatment groups. Conversely, pigs in the HMOs group exhibited larger relative volumes of the right cortex (P = 0.023), and left cortex (P= 0.005) compared with other groups<./p>
Discussion: To our knowledge this is one of the first studies to use MRI to assess the impact of bovine and human milk oligosaccharides on brain development. Based on this evidence, it is possible that observed differences in brain volumes could be due to alterations in synaptogenesis, neuronal expansion, or increased glial presence in the brain, which may have impacted behavioral performance. Future work will seek to analyze changes in brain gene and protein expression to elucidate mechanisms by which dietary prebiotics might influence the brain changes. This project was funded by Nestlé Nutrition R&D.
Graduate Research Assistant
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign