Maternal perinatal undernutrition modifies lactose and serotranferrin in milk: Relevance to the programming of metabolic diseases?

J. S. Wattez, A. Delmont, M. Bouvet, O. Beseme, S. Goers, F. Delahaye, C. Laborie, J. Lesage, B. Foligné, C. Breton, C. C. Metges, D. Vieau, F. Pinet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A close link between intrauterine growth restriction and development of chronic adult diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension has been established both in humans and animals. Modification of growth velocity during the early postnatal period (i.e., lactation) may also sensitize to the development of metabolic syndrome in adulthood. This suggests that milk composition may have long-lasting programming/ deprogramming metabolic effects in the offspring. We therefore assess the effects of maternal perinatal denutrition on breast milk composition in a food-restricted 50% (FR50) rat model. Monosaccharides and fatty acids were characterized by gas chromatography, and proteins were profiled by surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization- time-of-flight analysis in milk samples from FR50 and control rat dams. Milk analysis of FR50 rats demonstrated that maternal undernutrition decreases lactose concentration and modulates lipid profile at postnatal day 10 by increasing the unsaturated fatty acids/saturated fatty acids and diminishes serotransferrin levels at postnatal day 21. Our data indicate that maternal perinatal undernutrition modifies milk composition both quantitatively and qualitatively. These modifications by maternal nutrition open new perspectives to identify molecules that could be used in artificial milk to protect from the subsequent development of metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E393-E401
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015


  • Carbohydrates
  • Fatty acids
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Nutrition
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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