Polar lipids, which are found in human milk, serve essential functions within biological membranes, hence their importance in brain development and cognition. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the longitudinal effects on brain macrostructural and microstructural development and recognition memory of early-life polar lipid supplementation using the translational pig model. Twenty-eight intact (i.e., not castrated) male pigs were provided either a control diet (n = 14) or the control diet supplemented with polar lipids (n = 14) from postnatal day 2 until postnatal week 4. After postnatal week 4, all animals were provided the same nutritionally-adequate diets until postnatal week 24. Pigs underwent magnetic resonance imaging at 8 longitudinal time-points to model brain macrostructural and microstructural developmental trajectories. The novel object recognition task was implemented at postnatal weeks 4 and 8 to evaluate recognition memory. Subtle differences were observed between groups in hippocampal absolute brain volumes and fractional anisotropy, and no differences in myelin water fraction developmental patterns were noted. Behavioral outcomes did not differ in recognition memory, and only minimal differences were observed in exploratory behaviors. Our findings suggest that early-life dietary supplementation of polar lipids has limited effect on brain developmental patterns, object recognition memory, and exploratory behaviors.
- polar lipids
- resonance imaging