Maternal zinc deficiency reduces NMDA receptor expression in neonatal rat brain, which persists into early adulthood

Winyoo Chowanadisai, Shannon L. Kelleher, Bo Lönnerdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prenatal and early postnatal zinc deficiency impairs learning and memory and these deficits persist into adulthood. A key modulator in this process may be the NMDA receptor; however, effects of zinc deficiency on the regulation of NMDA receptor activity are not well understood. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed diets containing 7 (zinc deficient, ZD), 10 (marginally zinc deficient, MZD) or 25 (control) mg Zn/g diet preconception through postnatal day (PN) 20, at which time pups were weaned onto their maternal or control diet. Regulation of NMDA receptor expression was examined at PN2, PN11, and PN65. At PN2, expression of whole brain NMDA receptor subunits NR1, NR2A, and NR2B was lower in pups from dams fed ZD and MZD compared to controls, as analyzed using relative RT-PCR and immunoblotting. At PN11, whole brain and hippocampi NR1, NR2A, NR2B and PSA-NCAM (polysialic acid-neural cell adhesion molecule) expression and the number of PSA-NCAM immunoreactive cells were lower in pups from dams fed ZD compared to controls. Whole brain brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) concentrations were lower in pups from dams fed ZD or both low zinc diets, respectively. Whole brain NR1 expression remained lower in previously zinc-deficient rats at PN65. These data indicate potential mechanisms through which developmental zinc deficiency can impair learning and memory later in life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-519
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume94
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

Keywords

  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Infant nutrition
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Neurotrophins
  • Polysialic acid-neural cell adhesion molecule
  • Postnatal development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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