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Effects of neonatal undernutrition on the lipid composition of gray matter and white matter in rat brain

, : Effects of neonatal undernutrition on the lipid composition of gray matter and white matter in rat brain. Journal of Neurochemistry 38(3): 601-605

Separate analyses were made of gray matter and white matter from rat brain after neonatal undernutrition. Newborn rats were redistributed into control, large-litter, and protein-deficient groups. Large litters had 16 rather than 8 pups with a dam. Protein-deficient dams were fed a 4%, instead of a 24%, casein diet. For controls at 21 days of age, the 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphohydrolase activity was more than fivefold greater in white matter than in gray matter. Severe undernutrition (protein-deficient) gave 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphohydrolase activities that were 36% lower in gray matter and 56% lower in white matter. Lipid galactose concentrations were 17% less than control in both gray matter and white matter. In protein-deficient white matter, phospholipid concentrations were 15% lower than control. Ethanolamine plasmalogens and phosphatidyl serine were affected most. Moderate nutrition (large litter) had no effect on 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphohydrolase activity. A 14% deficit of galactolipids was the only difference from controls in large-litter white matter. In large-litter gray matter, phospholipid concentrations were 16% higher than controls. Nearly all glycerophospholipids, including plasmalogens, were affected. With the exception of the myelination markers, 2'3',-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphohydrolase and lipid galactose, the development of lipids in gray matter is almost completely spared from the effects of undernutrition. The primary effect of undernutrition is on myelination, especially in white matter.


PMID: 7199078

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