Maternal diet with sea urchin gangliosides promotes neurodevelopment of young offspring via enhancing NGF and BDNF expression†
Neurodevelopment of fetal and infant brains is an essential process not just during infancy but throughout the whole life. Previous studies have verified the neurotrophic effects of GM1 and milk gangliosides (GLSs) on brain development. However, it remains unclear whether the maternal GLS diet during the perinatal period can program the brain development of young offspring. Sea urchin, as a popular sea food, is a good resource of marine-derived GLSs. This study evaluated the effects of maternal diet with sea urchin gangliosides (SU-GLSs) on the utero and neonatal neurodevelopment and compared their efficacy with common GM1 and sialic acid (SA). Herein, SU-GLSs, as well as GM1 and SA, were orally administered to pregnant mice from pregnancy to lactation. The morphological and functional development of the brain was evaluated in postnatal 15-day (P15) mice. SU-GLSs were superior to GM1 and SA in enhancing neuritogenesis, spinous dendrite growth and synapse function in the hippocampus and cortex of P15 mice. Mechanistic studies found that SU-GLSs upregulated the expressions of NGF and BDNF more effectively than GM1 and SA. Furthermore, different glycosylated SU-GLSs promoted the neural differentiation of Neuro2a cells in a structure-selective manner. Sulfate-type and disialo-type GLSs were more effective than GM1. These findings suggested that maternal SU-GLS diet could promote the neurodevelopment of young offspring and would be a potential nutrition enriching substance for the early developing brain.