Background: The presence of a fetal inflammatory response is linked to cerebral palsy. Unfortunately no preventive therapies are available. In this study, we determined whether dietary supplementation with broccoli sprouts (BrSp), a phase-II enzyme inducer, would be effective in preventing the behavioural and pathologic manifestations in a rodent model of inflammation during late pregnancy.
Methods: Pregnant Long-Evans rats were administered i.p. Injections of saline (100μl) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 200μg/kg), every 12h on embryonic day (E) 19 and 20. In the treatment groups, dams were supplemented with 200mg/day of dried BrSp from E14 until postnatal day 21. Pups underwent a series of neurodevelopmental reflex tests from postnatal day 3-21 followed by neuropathological analyses.
Results: Pups born from the LPS group were significantly growth restricted (p<0.001) and delayed in hindlimb placing (p<0.05), cliff avoidance (p<0.05), and gait (p<0.001) compared to controls. In the open field behaviour analyses, LPS pups had an increase in grooming behaviour (p<0.05) and a decreased amount of time spent in the center of the box compared to controls. Dietary supplementation with BrSp to offspring exposed to LPS had increased birth weights (p<0.001), were no longer delayed in acquiring hindlimb placing, cliff avoidance, gait, and posture, and groomed less compared to LPS alone pups (p<0.01). Histological analyses revealed that LPS pups had reduced myelin basic protein compared to controls.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that BrSp dietary supplementation during pregnancy may be effective in preventing growth restriction and neurodevelopmental delays.
Keywords: Broccoli sprouts; Developmental delay; Maternal inflammation; Prevention.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.