Dietary L-serine modifies free amino acid composition of maternal milk and lowers the body weight of the offspring in mice

Satsuki Nagamachi, Takuma Nishigawa, Mayumi Takakura, Hiromi Ikeda, Momoko Kodaira, Takeshi Yamaguchi, Vishwajit Sur Chowdhury, Shinobu Yasuo, Mitsuhiro Furuse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The growth of offspring is affected not only by the protein in maternal milk but also by the free amino acids (FAAs) contained in it. L-Serine (L-Ser) is known as an important FAA for the development of the central nervous system and behavioral activity. However, it is not clear whether L-Ser is transported into the pool of FAAs contained in milk and thereby affects the growth of offspring. Using mice, the current study investigated the effects of dietary L-Ser during pregnancy and lactation on milk and plasma FAA composition, as well as on growth, behavior, and plasma FAAs of offspring. Dietary L-Ser did not significantly affect the maternal, anxiety-like, or cognitive behaviors of either the dam or the offspring. The FAA composition notably differed between plasma and milk in dams. In milk, dietary L-Ser increased free L-Ser levels, while glutamic acid, L-alanine, D-alanine and taurine levels were decreased. The body weight of the offspring was lowered by dietary L-Ser. The concentrations of plasma FAAs in 13-day-old offspring (fed only milk) were not altered, but 20-day-old offspring (fed both milk and parental diet) showed higher plasma L-Ser and D-Ser concentrations as a result of the dietary L-Ser treatment. In conclusion, the present study found that dietary L-Ser transported easily from maternal plasma to milk and that dietary L-Ser treatment could change the FAA composition of milk, but that an enhanced level of L-Ser in milk did not enhance the plasma L-Ser level in the offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Veterinary


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