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Nutr Neurosci. 2019 Nov 20:1-11. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2019.1691856. [Epub ahead of print]

Sialylated milk oligosaccharides alter neurotransmitters and brain metabolites in piglets: an In vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS) study.

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Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia.
Monash Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Background: Human milk contains high concentrations and diversity of sialylated oligosaccharides that have multifunctional health benefits, however, their potential role in optimizing neurodevelopment remains unknown.Objective: To investigate the effect of sialylated milk oligosaccharides (SMOS) intervention on neurotransmitters and brain metabolites in piglets.Methods: 3-day-old piglets were randomly allocated to one of three groups and fed either standard sow milk replacer (SMR) alone (n = 15), SMR supplemented with sialyllactose 9.5 g/kg (SL, n = 16) or a combination of SL and 6'-sialyllactosamine 9.5 g/kg (SL/SLN, n = 15) for 35 days. Brain spectra were acquired using a 3T Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic (MRS) system.Results: SMOS fed piglets were observed to have significantly increased the absolute levels of myo-inositol (mIns) and glutamate + glutamine (Glx), in particular, the SL/SLN group. Similar findings were found in the relative amount of these metabolites calculated as ratios to creatine (Cr), choline (Cho) and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) respectively (P < .05). In addition, there were significant positive correlations of brain NAA, total NAA (TNAA), mIns, total Cho (TCho), total Cr (TCr), scyllo-Inositol (SI) and glutathione (Glth) with total white matter volume; Glu and SI with whole brain volume; and SI with whole brain weight respectively (P < .01). SLN and 3'SL intake were closely correlated with the levels of brain Glu, mlns and Glx in the treatment groups only (P < .01-.05).Conclusions: We provide in vivo evidences that milk SMOS can alter many important brain metabolites and neurotransmitters required for optimizing neurodevelopment in piglets, an animal model of human infants.


3′ and 6′-sialyllactose; 6′-sialyllactosamine; MRS; brain metabolites; neurodevelopment; piglet; sialylated milk oligosaccharides

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