Effect of maternal excessive sodium intake on postnatal brain development in rat offspring

Jung A. Shin, Young Mo Ahn, Hye Ah Lee, Hyesook Park, Young Ju Kim, Hwa Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Postnatal brain development is affected by the in utero environment. Modern people usually have a high sodium intake. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of sodium hyperingestion during pregnancy on the postnatal brain development of rat offspring. Methods: The sodium-overloaded rats received 1.8% NaCl in their drinking water for 7 days during the last week of gestation. Their body weight, urine, and blood levels of sodium and other parameters were measured. Some rats were sacrificed at pregnancy day 22 and the weight and length of the placenta and foetus were measured. The cerebral cortex and hippocampus were obtained from their offspring at postnatal day 1 and at postnatal weeks 1, 2, 4, and 8. Western blot analyses were conducted with brain tissue lysates. Results: The sodium-overloaded animals had decreased weight gain in the last week of gestation as well as decreased food intake, increased water intake, urine volume, urine sodium, and serum sodium. There were no differences in placental weight and length. The foetuses of sodium-overloaded rats showed decreased body weight and size, and this difference was maintained postnatally for 2 weeks. In the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of the offspring, the protein levels of myelin basic protein, calmodulin/calciumdependent protein kinase II, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor were decreased or aberrantly expressed. Discussion: The present data suggest that increased sodium intake during pregnancy affects the brain development of the offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 W.S.Maney & Son Ltd.


  • Brain
  • Development
  • Pregnancy
  • Rat
  • Sodium


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