Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nutr. 2007 May;137(5):1176-82.

Early postnatal iron repletion overcomes lasting effects of gestational iron deficiency in rats.

Author information

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Iron deficiency anemia in early childhood causes developmental delays and, very likely, irreversible alterations in neurological functioning. One primary goal for the present study was to determine whether the effects of late gestational iron deficiency on brain monoamine metabolism, iron content, and behavioral phenotypes could be repaired with iron intervention in early lactation. Young pregnant rats were provided iron-deficient or control diets from mid-gestation (G15). At postnatal d 4 (P4), pups from iron-deficient dams were out-fostered either to other ID dams or control dams while pups of control dams were similarly fostered to other control dams. Dietary treatments continued to adulthood (P65) when brain iron and regional monoamines were evaluated. P4 iron repletion normalized body iron status, brain iron concentrations, monoamine concentrations, and monoamine transporter and receptor densities in most brain regions. Dopamine transporter densities in caudate and substantia nigra were lower in ID rats but were normalized with iron repletion. Serotonin transporter levels in most brain regions and open-field exploration were also normalized with iron repletion. The success of this approach of early postnatal iron intervention following iron deficiency in utero contrasts to a relative lack of success when the intervention is performed at weaning. These data suggest that a window of opportunity exists for reversing the detrimental effects of iron deficiency in utero in rats and provides strong support of intervention approaches in humans with iron deficiency during pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center