Effects of intrauterine malnutrition on brain free amino acids of young rats, after nutritional recovery during lactation period
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The effect of protein-calorie malnutrition during gestation on the brain amino acids of rat pups was studied following nutritional recovery during lactation. The brain amino acids of rat pups born to dam rats malnourished during gestation were studied after these rat pups received proper nutrition during lactation. Pregnant rats were fed a 1% protein diet with total caloric intake restricted to half that of controls. After birth, the offspring of rats fed on deficient diets were nurtured up to the 28th day postpartum by foster mothers receiving adequate diets. At this time, the offspring were killed. The control group consisted of offspring from pregnant rats fed a diet with adequate protein (21%) and calories during the entire gestation and lactation period. Quantitation of brain amino acids in the pups at 28 days postpartum showed lower concentrations of essential and nonessential amino acids in the rats malnourished during gestation. Concentrations of histidine, glycine, and α-aminobutyric acids were all reduced. These findings demonstrate that the brains of rat pups malnourished during gestation show persistent decreases in specific brain amino acids after adequate postpartum nutrition.