Folate deficiency alone does not produce neural tube defects in mice

M. K. Heid, N. D. Bills, S. H. Hinrichs, A. J. Clifford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

The incidence of neural tube defects was studied in mouse embryos from dams fed an amino acid-based diet containing 45, 91, 136, 181, 227 or 453 nmol folic acid/kg diet (Experiment 1) or 227, 453, 566, 680, 906, 1132, 1698 or 2266 nmol folic acid/kg diet (Experiment 2). Reproductive tracts were examined 12 d postcoitum and gross and microscopic examination of all embryos was performed. A single implantation was found at levels ≤181 nmol folic acid/kg diet. With one exception, bred mice fed 227 or 453 nmol folic acid/kg diet in Experiment 1 had 100% resorptions. In Experiment 2, 100% of implantations in mice fed 227 nmol folic acid/kg diet and ~75% of implantations in mice fed 453 or 566 nmol folic acid/kg diet resorbed. The 906 nmol folic acid/kg diet was sufficient for successful pregnancy. Mice fed 227 nmol folic acid/kg diet in Experiment 2 weighed ~80% of mice fed higher levels of folic acid. Inadequate dietary folic acid resulted in fewer and smaller embryos (which developed normally). These results suggest that folate deficiency alone is insufficient to produce neural tube defects in Swiss- Webster mice. Because individual micronutrients (e.g., folate) can be omitted from the amino acid-based diet, the specific role of folic acid in neurulation can now be studied systematically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)888-894
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume122
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

Keywords

  • amino acid diet
  • folic acid
  • mice
  • neurulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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