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J Nutr. 1978 Mar;108(3):368-72.

The effects of prenatal protein restriction on the developing mouse cerebrum.


Purified low protein maternal diets cause a reduction in total weight and protein content but not in DNA content (cell number) of the cerebrum of newborn mice. Female mice were fed diets in which 8%, 11%, 15%, or 27% (control) was casein as the sole source of protein for 1 or 2 months prior to mating and throughout gestation. A 15% casein diet fed for 1 month had no effect on brain weight, DNA content (cell number) or protein content in the cerebrums of newborn mice. Female mice fed an 8% or 11% protein diet for 1 or 2 months prior to conception and throughout gestation gave birth to young that had a decreased cerebral weight and protein content. However in neither case was the amount of cerebral DNA (cell number) of the newborn from females in the low protein group significantly different from that in the cerebrums of mice born to females on the normal protein diet.

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