Document Detail

Effects of diets enriched in omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on offspring sex-ratio and maternal behavior in mice.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17928632     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
There have been many trials describing the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) on fecundity, neonatal development, and maternal behavior in humans, but few controlled studies in rodents. We examined the effects of a maternal diet high in omega 3 (N-3) or omega 6 (N-6) PUFA on NIH Swiss mice. Female mice were ad libitum fed one of three complete and balanced diets (N-3, enriched in menhaden oil; N-6, enriched in corn oil; C, control diet, Purina 5015) from age 4 wk until the end of the study. Mice were bred at approximately 19 wk and 27 wk of age, providing a total of 838 pups from 129 litters in two experiments. After weaning their pups from parity 1, behavior of dams was assessed on elevated-plus and open-field mazes. Although the fraction of male pups from the N-3 and C groups was not different from 0.5, dams on the N-6 diet birthed more daughters than sons (213 vs. 133; P < 0.001). Although maternal stress has been reported to favor birth of daughters, the behavior of N-6 dams was not different from controls. By contrast, the N-3 dams displayed greater anxiety, spending less time in the open arms and more time in the closed arms of the elevated maze and traveling less distance and exhibiting less exploratory behavior in the open field (P < 0.05). N-3 dams tended to produce smaller litters than C dams, and N-3-suckled pups gained less weight (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the N-3 diet had negative effects on murine fecundity and maternal behavior, whereas the N-6 diet favored birth of daughters.
Emily D Fountain; Jiude Mao; Jeffrey J Whyte; Kelly E Mueller; Mark R Ellersieck; Matthew J Will; R Michael Roberts; Ruth Macdonald; Cheryl S Rosenfeld
Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2007-10-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biology of reproduction     Volume:  78     ISSN:  0006-3363     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Reprod.     Publication Date:  2008 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-01-29     Completed Date:  2008-03-25     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0207224     Medline TA:  Biol Reprod     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  211-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Animals, Newborn
Behavior, Animal / drug effects
Birth Weight / drug effects
Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / administration & dosage*
Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
Maternal Behavior / drug effects*
Mice, Inbred Strains
Sex Ratio*
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids, Omega-3; 0/Fatty Acids, Omega-6; 0/Fatty Acids, Unsaturated

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