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PLoS One. 2016 Nov 16;11(11):e0166070. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166070. eCollection 2016.

Dietary 2'-Fucosyllactose Enhances Operant Conditioning and Long-Term Potentiation via Gut-Brain Communication through the Vagus Nerve in Rodents.

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Strategic R&D Department, Abbott Nutrition, Granada, 18004, Spain.
Division of Neurosciences, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, 41013, Spain.
Strategic R&D Department, Abbott Nutrition, Columbus, OH, United States of America.


2´-fucosyllactose (2´-FL) is an abundant human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) in human milk with diverse biological effects. We recently reported ingested 2´-FL stimulates central nervous system (CNS) function, such as hippocampal long term potentiation (LTP) and learning and memory in rats. Conceivably the effect of 2´-FL on CNS function may be via the gut-brain axis (GBA), specifically the vagus nerve, and L-fucose (Fuc) may play a role. This study had two aims: (1) determine if the effect of ingested 2´-FL on the modulation of CNS function is dependent on the integrity of the molecule; and (2) confirm if oral 2´-FL modified hippocampal LTP and associative learning related skills in rats submitted to bilateral subdiaphragmatic vagotomy. Results showed that 2´-FL but not Fuc enhanced LTP, and vagotomy inhibited the effects of oral 2´-FL on LTP and associative learning related paradigms. Taken together, the data show that dietary 2´-FL but not its Fuc moiety affects cognitive domains and improves learning and memory in rats. This effect is dependent on vagus nerve integrity, suggesting GBA plays a role in 2´-FL-mediated cognitive benefits.

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Conflict of interest statement

We have the following interests: The study has been exclusively funded by Abbott Nutrition. Abbott Nutrition manufactures infant formulas. Enrique Vazquez, Alejandro Barranco, Maria Ramirez, Maria L Jimenez, Rachael Buck and Ricardo Rueda are employed by Abbott Nutrition. This does not alter our adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials, as detailed online in the guide for authors.

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