Prenatal caprine milk oligosaccharide consumption affects the development of mice offspring

Caroline Thum, AgResearch Limited Grasslands Research Centre, Palmerston North,
New Zealand

Caroline Thum1,2, Warren C. McNabb2,3, Wayne Young1,2, Adrian L. Cookson2,4, and
Nicole C. Roy1,2,5
1. Food Nutrition & Health Team, Food and Bio-based Products Group, AgResearch Grasslands, Palmerston North, New Zealand;
2. Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand;
3. AgResearch Grasslands, Palmerston North, New Zealand;
4. Food Assurance & Meat Quality Team, Food and Bio-based Products Group, Hopkirk Institute, Palmerston North, New Zealand;
5. Gravida, National Centre for Growth and Development, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

The composition of the gastrointestinal (GIT) microbiota (commensal vs detrimental), particularly in early life, influences the development of metabolic diseases later in life. The maternal microbiota is the main source of bacteria colonizing the infant GIT and can be modified by dietary prebiotics, such as milk oligosaccharides. Caprine milk contains oligosaccharides structurally similar to human milk oligosaccharides, which are known to stimulate the development, maturation and colonization of the neonate’s GIT. However, important differences in the profile of goat and human milk oligosaccharides have also been described. The impact of these different milk oligosaccharide profiles on the GIT microbiota and host physiology have been poorly explored.

Our objective was to determine the effects of prenatal consumption of prebiotic caprine milk oligosaccharides (CMO) on the large intestine of female mice, milk composition and offspring development. C57BL/6 mice were fed either a control diet, CMO diet, or galacto-oligosaccharide diet from mating to weaning. From weaning, half pups nursed by CMO, GOS and control-dams were fed the control diet for 30 days. CMO or GOS-fed dams had increased colon length and milk protein concentration compared to control-fed dams. At weaning, pups from CMO-fed dams had increasedbody weight and colon length and increased proportions of colonic Bifidobacterium spp compared to the pups from control-fed dams. Thirty days after weaning, pups from CMO-fed dams had increased visceral fat weight compared to pups from control-fed dams. Metabolite profile of the blood plasma showed increased (2 fold) lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) (20:4) in dams and pups 30 days post weaning and decreased (4.5 fold) LPC 16:0 in pups at weaning. Data from liver metabolic profile and gene expression are currently under analysis. In conclusion, the consumption of CMO by the dams during gestation and lactation improved the development of the pups, and the relative abundance of bifidobacteria and butyric acid in the colon, at weaning. The effects of maternal CMO consumption on lipid metabolism remain to be determined in-depth.

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