Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2014 - Volume 59 - Issue 5 > Lutein and Preterm Infants With Decreased Concentrations of...
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition:
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000389
Original Articles: Hepatology and Nutrition

Lutein and Preterm Infants With Decreased Concentrations of Brain Carotenoids

Vishwanathan, Rohini*; Kuchan, Matthew J.; Sen, Sarbattama; Johnson, Elizabeth J.*

Collapse Box

Abstract

Objectives: Lutein and zeaxanthin are dietary carotenoids that may influence visual and cognitive development. The objective of this study was to provide the first data on distribution of carotenoids in the infant brain and compare concentrations in preterm and term infants.

Methods: Voluntarily donated brain tissues from 30 infants who died during the first 1.5 years of life were obtained from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Brain and Tissue Bank. Tissues (hippocampus and prefrontal, frontal, auditory, and occipital cortices) were extracted using standard lipid extraction procedures and analyzed using reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography.

Results: Lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, and β-carotene were the major carotenoids found in the infant brain tissues. Lutein was the predominant carotenoid accounting for 59% of total carotenoids. Preterm infants (n = 8) had significantly lower concentrations of lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin in their brain compared with term infants (n = 22) despite similarity in postmenstrual age. Among formula-fed infants, preterm infants (n = 3) had lower concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin compared with term infants (n = 5). Brain lutein concentrations were not different between breast milk–fed (n = 3) and formula-fed (n = 5) term decedents. In contrast, term decedents with measurable brain cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid that is inherently low in formula, had higher brain lutein, suggesting that the type of feeding is an important determinant of brain lutein concentrations.

Conclusions: These data reveal preferential accumulation and maintenance of lutein in the infant brain despite underrepresentation in the typical infant diet. Further investigation on the impact of lutein on neural development in preterm infants is warranted.

© 2014 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

Login

Article Tools

Share

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.

Connect With Us

 

 

Twitter

twitter.com/JPGNonline

 

Visit JPGN.org on your smartphone. Scan this code (QR reader app required) with your phone and be taken directly to the site.