Broccoli sprout supplementation during placental insufficiency confers structural and functional neuroprotection to the fetal rat

  • Author / Creator
    Black, Amy Maxine
  • Background: Perinatal ischemic brain injury leads to developmental disability (DD), which accounts for 30% of disabilities in children. Antepartum risk, or risk occurring prior to birth occurs in more than 90% of cases. This study investigated whether maternal ingestion of a natural health product (broccoli sprouts) would provide neuroprotection in an intrauterine model of HI. Methods: Intrauterine ischemia was induced by bilateral uterine artery ligation (BUAL) on E20 of gestation. Rats were fed broccoli sprouts (200 mg) from E15 until postnatal day 14 (PD14). Rat pups underwent neurobehavioural testing from birth to PD21 and were then sacrificed for neuropathologic assessment on PD21. Results: BUAL ligation resulted in growth restriction (IUGR) of the fetuses, which persisted throughout the study (p < 0.001). Reflex testing indicated IUGR pups were developmentally delayed compared to controls (p < 0.001). Open field testing on PD21 indicated hyperactivity in IUGR animals compared to controls (p < 0.001). Histological assessment showed a reduction in pyramidal cells in CA1 and CA3 of IUGR hippocampi and in myelin basic protein (MBP) immunohistochemistry signal. Broccoli sprout supplementation improved some reflex and behavioural measures, increased cell counts in CA1 and CA3 as well as MBP signal in growth restricted animals. Conclusions: Supplementation with broccoli sprouts during the last trimester of gestation and the first 2 weeks of life in the rat lessened the effects of chronic intra-uterine ischemia. These findings suggest a novel approach to the prevention of DD associated with perinatal HI.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2010
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.