Vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy has been associated with poor fetal outcome. Here we investigate the influence of a one-carbon (1C) imbalanced diet (low B12, high folate, high methionine) on maternal B12 status, fetal outcome, B12 distribution, and on the 24-h distribution of synthetic cyano-B12 (CN-B12) and natural hydroxo-B12 (HO-B12). Female Wistar rats were mated while on a 1C balanced (n
= 12) or imbalanced diet starting two weeks (n
= 10) or four weeks (n
= 9) prior to pregnancy and continuing throughout pregnancy. At gestation day 18 (out of 21), all rats received an oral dose of labeled CN-B12 or HO-B12. After 24 h, the rats were sacrificed. Fetuses were inspected, and maternal tissues and fetuses were measured for endogenous and labeled B12. Pregnancy caused a redistribution of B12 from the kidneys to the liver and fetal compartment (uterus, placenta, fetuses). The 1C imbalanced diet reduced maternal kidney B12 and gave rise to lower-weight fetuses with visual malformations. In contrast, fetal B12 did not reflect fetal outcome. This suggests that maternal B12 is more important for fetal outcome than fetal B12. The 24-h distribution of labeled B12 in the rats on the 1C imbalanced diet showed a higher fetal accumulation of CN-B12 than HO-B12, while the opposite was seen in the maternal tissues.
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