The effect of dexamethasone on growth and arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in the piglet model for infant nutrition

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Petryk, Lori A.
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'Introduction'. Dexamethasone (DEX) is a corticosteroid used as therapy for premature infants with chronic lung disease. DEX has been shown to reduce growth and decrease essential fatty acid (FA) synthesis in vitro. 'Objective'. To determine somatic growth, brain, liver, retina, red blood cells and plasma arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in piglets fed standard formula or sows' milk and treated with or without DEX. 'Methods'. Twenty 10 day old male piglets were randomised to receive 15 days of DEX or placebo and either sows' milk (S) or formula (F). Measurements were final weight and length and AA and DHA (expressed as % w/w of total phospholipid) in total lipid of brain and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC) extracted from liver, retina, plasma, and RBC. Plasma triglyceride and total cholesterol were also examined. All data are mean +- SEM, unless otherwise stated. 'Conclusion'. The results indicate a protective affect of sows' milk on DHA status, but not somatic growth. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)