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Open AccessArticle

Maternal Iron Deficiency Programs Offspring Cognition and Its Relationship with Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Metabolites

1
Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan
2
Department of Pediatrics, Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Chiayi 613, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally as corresponding authors.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6070; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176070
Received: 24 July 2020 / Revised: 15 August 2020 / Accepted: 18 August 2020 / Published: 20 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Early-Life Nutrition and Health)
Iron is an essential micronutrient for the brain development of the fetus. Altered intestinal microbiota might affect behavior and cognition through the so-called microbiota-gut-brain axis. We used a Sprague-Dawley rat model of a maternal low-iron diet to explore the changes in cognition, dorsal hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and related pathways, gut microbiota, and related metabolites in adult male offspring. We established maternal iron-deficient rats by feeding them a low-iron diet (2.9 mg/kg), while the control rats were fed a standard diet (52.3 mg/kg). We used a Morris water maze test to assess spatial learning and long-term memory. Western blot (WB) assays and a quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) were used to detect the BDNF concentration and related signaling pathways. We collected fecal samples for microbiota profiling and measured the concentrations of plasma short-chain fatty acids. The adult male offspring of maternal rats fed low-iron diets before pregnancy, during pregnancy and throughout the lactation period had (1) spatial deficits, (2) a decreased BDNF mRNA expression and protein concentrations, accompanied by a decreased TrkB protein abundance, (3) a decreased plasma acetate concentration, and (4) an enrichment of the Bacteroidaceae genus Bacteroides and Lachnospiraceae genus Marvinbryantia. Maternal iron deficiency leads to an offspring spatial deficit and is associated with alternations in gastrointestinal microbiota and metabolites. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial deficit; iron deficiency; microbiota; programming spatial deficit; iron deficiency; microbiota; programming
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hsieh, H.-Y.; Chen, Y.-C.; Hsu, M.-H.; Yu, H.-R.; Su, C.-H.; Tain, Y.-L.; Huang, L.-T.; Sheen, J.-M. Maternal Iron Deficiency Programs Offspring Cognition and Its Relationship with Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Metabolites. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6070.

AMA Style

Hsieh H-Y, Chen Y-C, Hsu M-H, Yu H-R, Su C-H, Tain Y-L, Huang L-T, Sheen J-M. Maternal Iron Deficiency Programs Offspring Cognition and Its Relationship with Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Metabolites. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(17):6070.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hsieh, Hsin-Yi; Chen, Yu-Chieh; Hsu, Mei-Hsin; Yu, Hong-Ren; Su, Chung-Hao; Tain, You-Lin; Huang, Li-Tung; Sheen, Jiunn-Ming. 2020. "Maternal Iron Deficiency Programs Offspring Cognition and Its Relationship with Gastrointestinal Microbiota and Metabolites" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 17: 6070.

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