Giving uridine and/or docosahexaenoic acid orally to rat dams during gestation and nursing increases synaptic elements in brains of weanling pups

Cansev M. , Marzloff G., Sakamoto T., Ulus I. H. , Wurtman R. J.

Developmental Neuroscience, vol.31, no.3, pp.181-192, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000193394
  • Title of Journal : Developmental Neuroscience
  • Page Numbers: pp.181-192


Developing neurons synthesize substantial quantities of membrane phospholipids in producing new synapses. We investigated the effects of maternal uridine (as uridine-5′-monophosphate) and docosahexaenoic acid supplementation on pups' brain phospholipids, synaptic proteins and dendritic spine densities. Dams consumed neither, 1 or both compounds for 10 days before parturition and 20 days while nursing. By day 21, brains of weanlings receiving both exhibited significant increases in membrane phosphatides, various pre- and postsynaptic proteins (synapsin-1, mGluR1, PSD-95), and in hippocampal dendritic spine densities. Administering these phosphatide precursors to lactating mothers or infants could be useful for treating developmental disorders characterized by deficient synapses. Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.