The Quantitative Relationship between Nutritional Effects on Preweaning Growth and Behavioral Development in Mice

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Douglas Wahlsten, Visiting Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Our objective was to establish whether nutritional effects on the behavioral development of preweaning mouse pups were linearly related to effects on body and brain growth or whether there was a threshold effect, with behavior being affected only by nutritional extremes. We also used a standardized scale of development to compare the relative magnitude of such effects on morphological and behavioral measures. The level of nutrient availability was manipulated continuously by rearing the pups in litter sizes ranging from 3 to 12. On Day 32 post-conception, measures were taken of body weight, brain weight, thickness of the cerebellar external granular layer (EGL), and behavioral development. The relationship between litter size and body weight, brain weight, and behavioral development was best described by a linear regression model; no threshold effect was apparent. By comparing measures on animals from different litter sizes at the same age (32 days) to standard developmental curves over a wide range of ages, we found that for every additional pup in a litter, body growth was retarded by the equivalent of 1.28 days, brain weight by 0.44 day, and behavioral development by 0.07 day. Although the variation in nutrient availability provided by this range of litter sizes does result in a linear relationship between growth and behavioral development, there is nevertheless considerable sparing of function.

Additional Information

Developmental Psychobiology, 1989, 22, 183-195.
Language: English
Date: 1989
Diet, Nutrition, Brain development, Neurological, Mice, Development

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