Iron deficiency affects nearly 2 billion people worldwide, with pregnant women and young children being most severely impacted. Sustained anemia during the first year of life can cause cognitive, attention and motor deficits, which may persist despite iron supplementation. We conducted iTRAQ analyses on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from infant monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to identify differential protein expression associated with early iron deficiency. CSF was collected from 5 iron-sufficient and 8 iron-deficient anemic monkeys at weaning age (6-7 months) and again at 12-14 months. Despite consumption of iron-fortified food after weaning, which restored hematological indices into the normal range, expression of 5 proteins in the CSF remained altered. Most of the proteins identified are involved in neurite outgrowth, migration or synapse formation. The results reveal novel ways in which iron deficiency undermines brain growth and results in aberrant neuronal migration and connections. Taken together with gene expression data from rodent models of iron deficiency, we conclude that significant alterations in neuroconnectivity occur in the iron-deficient brain, which may persist even after resolution of the hematological anemia. The compromised brain infrastructure could account for observations of behavioral deficits in children during and after the period of anemia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Neuroscience