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Maternal protein restriction and physical activity can affect the interaction mother–placenta–fetus. This study quantified the gene expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurothrophin 4, tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB/NTRK2), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1r) in the different areas of mother’s brain (hypothalamus, hippocampus, and cortex), placenta, and fetus’ brain of rats. Female Wistar rats (n = 20) were housed in cages containing a running wheel for 4 weeks before gestation. According to the distance spontaneously traveled daily, rats were classified as inactive or active. During gestation, on continued access to the running wheel, active and inactive groups were randomized to receive normoprotein diet (18% protein) or a low-protein (LP) diet (8% protein). At day 20 of gestation, gene expression of neurotrophic factors was analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in different brain areas and the placenta. Dams submitted to a LP diet during gestation showed upregulation of IGF-1r and BDNF messenger RNA in the hypothalamus, IGF-1r and NTRK2 in the hippocampus, and BDNF, NTRK2, IGF-1 and IGF-1r in the cortex. In the placenta, there was a downregulation of IGF-1. In the brain of pups from mothers on LP diet, IGF-1r and NTRK2 were downregulated. Voluntary physical activity attenuated the effects of LP diet on IGF-1r in the hypothalamus, IGF-1r and NTRK2 in the hippocampus, IGF-1 in the placenta, and NTRK2 in the fetus’ brain. In conclusion, both maternal protein restriction and spontaneous physical activity influence the gene expression of BDNF, NTRK2, IGF-1, and IGF-1r, with spontaneous physical activity being able to normalize in part the defects caused by protein restriction during pregnancy.
Although the gross and microscopic pathology in rats infected with Angiostrongylus cantonensis has been well described, corresponding changes detected using diagnostic imaging modalities have not been reported. This work describes the cardiopulmonary changes in mature Wistar rats chronically infected with moderate burdens of A. cantonensis using radiology, computed tomography (CT), CT angiography, echocardiography, necropsy and histological examinations. Haematology and coagulation studies were also performed. Thoracic radiography, CT and CT angiography showed moderately severe alveolar pulmonary patterns mainly affecting caudal portions of the caudal lung lobes and associated dilatation of the caudal lobar pulmonary arteries. Presumptive worm profiles could be detected using echocardiography, with worms seen in the right ventricular outflow tract or straddling either the pulmonary and/or the tricuspid valves. Extensive, multifocal, coalescing dark areas and multiple pale foci affecting the caudal lung lobes were observed at necropsy. Histologically, these were composed of numerous large, confluent granulomas and fibrotic nodules. Adult worms were found predominantly in the mid- to distal pulmonary arteries. An inflammatory leukogram, hyperproteinaemia and hyperfibrinogenaemia were found in most rats. These findings provide a comparative model for A. cantonensis in its accidental hosts, such as humans and dogs. In addition, the pathological and imaging changes are comparable to those seen in dogs infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum, suggesting rats infected with A. cantonensis could be a model for dogs with A. vasorum infection.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis has been found in Florida, USA, from the panhandle in the north to Miami and surrounding areas in the southern parts of the state, in both definitive and intermediate hosts in a limited studies completed in 2015. Additional studies have identified this parasite in a variety of intermediate hosts, both native and non-native gastropod species, with new host species recorded. Many areas in Florida with higher A. cantonensis prevalence were those with a high human population density, which suggests it is a matter of time before human infections occur in Florida. Case reports in the state currently involve non-human primates and include a gibbon and orangutan in Miami. Here, we report the current status of A. cantonensis in the state, as well as the infection in a capuchin monkey and presumptive infection in a red ruffed lemur in Gainesville, Florida.
Clinical and experimental studies show an association between maternal periodontitis and adverse outcomes during gestation. On the other hand, there were no studies evaluating the impact of maternal periodontitis on the offspring. Thus, our objective was to investigate the repercussion of maternal periodontitis on the development of asthma in the offspring. Pregnant rats were submitted or not to periodontitis by ligature technique. Thirty days after birth, the puppies were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) in order to induce asthmatic response. Our results showed that maternal periodontitis reduced cellular infiltrate in the parenchyma of offspring, tracheal responsiveness, lung edema, and anti-OVA antibodies, without alter mucus as well as cytokines production. We concluded that periodontitis has relevant impact on the offspring’s immune system, blunting the response to allergic and inflammatory stimulus. This study shows the important role of oral health during pregnancy and opens possibilities for future studies in order to explain the effects of periodontitis during pregnancy in the offspring.
Increased fat and carbohydrate intakes based on the Western diet are important lifestyle modifications that lead to hypercaloric inputs, obesity, and male fertility negative effects. Epigenetic transmission may also predispose descended generations to chronic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, behavioral, and reproductive disorders. The present study sought to evaluate the influence of a high-fat-high-sugar (HFHS) diet supplied to Wistar rats from 25 to 90 days of life on reproductive and metabolic parameters in male generations F0, F1, and F2. The standard group received the normocaloric – Nuvilab Quimtia® –3.86 kcal/kg. The hypercaloric diet (HD) group received the HFHS diet – PragSoluções® –4.77 kcal/kg. Body weight, adiposity, F1 and F2 prepubertal age evaluations, oral glucose tolerance test, insulin tolerance test, organ weights, sperm count and morphology assessments, and histometric testicular analyses were performed. The HFHS diet promoted dyslipidemia, higher adiposity, lower relative organ weights, and higher mean kidney weight, decreased mean testicle and parenchyma weights and lower height of seminiferous epithelium (HE) for the F0 generation. F1 and F2 offspring of HD group displayed early preprepubertal development, although did not alter the metabolic parameters. Decreased HE and tubular testicular compartment volumetric density and increased intertubular testicular compartment volumetric density and volume in the F1 generation of HD group were observed. Alterations in histometry of intertubular testicular compartment were also noted. It is concluded that the HFHS experimental model altered only paternal metabolic parameters. However, reproductive parameters of the three generations were affected.
To investigate whether oral intake of highly branched α-glucan isomaltodextrin (IMD) could stimulate ileal glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion, we examined (1) the digestibility of IMD, (2) the digestion and absorption rates of IMD, in rat small intestine and (3) portal GLP-1 concentration in rats given IMD. In Expt 1, ileorectostomised rats were given a 3 % IMD diet for 10 d. Separately, a 16-h in vitro digestion of IMD, using porcine pancreatic α-amylase and brush-border membrane vesicles from rat small intestine, was conducted. In Expt 2, upon 24-h fasting, rats were given any of glucose, IMD and high-amylose maize starch (HAMS) (1 g/kg of body weight). In Expt 3, caecectomised rats were given 0·2 % neomycin sulphate and a 5 % IMD diet for 10 d. The in vivo and in vitro digestibility of IMD was 70–80 %. The fraction of IMD digested in vitro for the first 120 min was 67 % of that in maize starch. The AUC for 0–120 min of plasma glucose concentration was significantly lower in HAMS group and tended to be lower in IMD group than in the glucose group. Finally, we also observed that, when compared with control rats, glucose of IMD significantly stimulated and improved the concentration of portal active GLP-1 in antibiotic-administered, caecectomised rats. We concluded that IMD was slowly digested and the resulting glucose stimulated GLP-1 secretion in rat small intestine. Oral delivery of slowly released IMD glucose to the small intestine probably exerts important, yet unknown, physiological effects on the recipient.
We investigated whether non-digestible saccharide fermentation-derived hydrogen molecules (H2) in rat colon could improve the in vivo reduction–oxidation (redox) balance via regeneration of α-tocopherol, by assessing their effect on hydroxyl radicals, the α-tocopherol concentration and the redox balance. In Expt 1, a Fenton reaction with phenylalanine (0 or 1·37 mmol/l of H2) was conducted. In Expt 2, rats received intraperitoneally maize oil containing phorone (400 mg/kg) 7 d after drinking ad libitum water containing 0 or 4 % fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) (groups CP and FP, respectively). In Expt 3, rats unable to synthesise ascorbic acid drank ad libitum for 14 d water with 240 mg ascorbic acid/l (group AC), 20 mg of ascorbic acid/l (group DC) or 20 mg of ascorbic acid/l and 4 % FOS (group DCF). In the Fenton reaction, H2 reduced tyrosine produced from phenylalanine to 72 % when platinum was added and to 92 % when platinum was excluded. In Expt 2, liver glutathione was depleted by administration of phorone to rats. However, compared with CP, no change in the m-tyrosine concentration in the liver of FP was detected. In Expt 3, net H2 excretion was higher in DCF than in the other rats after 3 d of the experiment. Furthermore, the concentrations of H2 and α-tocopherol and the redox glutathione ratio in perirenal adipose tissue of rats were significantly higher in DCF than in DC. To summarise, in rat colon, fermentation-derived H2 further shifted the redox balance towards a more reducing status in perirenal adipose tissue through increased regeneration of α-tocopherol.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of curcumin on insulin resistance (IR) and hepatic lipid accumulation in intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR). Rats with a normal birth weight (NBW) or IUGR were fed basic diets (NBW and IUGR groups) or basic diets supplemented with curcumin (NBW-C and IUGR-C groups) from 6 to 12 weeks. Rats in the IUGR group showed higher levels of glucose and homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) (P < 0·05) than in the NBW group. The livers of IUGR rats exhibited higher (P < 0·05) concentration of TAG and lower (P < 0·05) activities of lipolysis enzymes compared with the normal rats. In response to dietary curcumin supplementation, concentrations of serum insulin, glucose and HOMA-IR, pyruvate, TAG, total cholesterol and NEFA in the liver were decreased (P < 0·05). The concentrations of glycogen and activities of lipolysis enzymes in the liver were increased (P < 0·05) in the IUGR-C group compared with the IUGR group. These results were associated with lower (P < 0·05) phosphorylated insulin receptor substrate 1, protein kinase B or Akt, glycogen synthase kinase 3β and expressions of sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 and fatty acid synthase (FASN); decreased expressions for Cd36, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (Srebf1) and Fasn; increased (P < 0·05) expression of PPARα; and expressions for Ppara and hormone-sensitive lipase in the liver of IUGR-C rats than the IUGR rats. Maternal malnutrition caused IR and lipid accumulation in the liver. Curcumin supplementation prevented IR by regulating insulin signalling pathways and attenuated hepatic lipid accumulation.
Maternal physical activity induces brain functional changes and neuroplasticity, leading to an improvement of cognitive functions, such as learning and memory in the offspring. This study investigated the effects of voluntary maternal physical activity on the gene expression of the neurotrophic factors (NTFs): BDNF, NTF4, NTRK2, IGF-1 and IGF-1r in the different areas of mother’s brain, placenta and foetus brain of rats. Female Wistar rats (n = 15) were individually housed in voluntary physical activity cages, containing a running wheel, for 4 weeks (period of adaptation) before gestation. Rats were classified as inactive (I, n = 6); active (A, n = 4) and very active (VA, n = 5) according to daily distance spontaneously travelled. During gestation, the dams continued to have access to the running wheel. At the 20th day of gestation, gene expression of NTFs was analysed in different areas of mother’s brain (cerebellum, hypothalamus, hippocampus and cortex), placenta and the offspring’s brain. NTFs gene expression was evaluated using quantitative PCR. Very active mothers showed upregulation of IGF-1 mRNA in the cerebellum (36.8%) and NTF4 mRNA expression in the placenta (24.3%). In the cortex, there was a tendency of up-regulation of NTRK2 mRNA (p = 0.06) in the A and VA groups when compared to I group. There were no noticeable changes in the gene expression of NTFs in the offspring’s brain. Our findings suggest the existence of a developmental plasticity induced by maternal physical activity in specific areas of the brain and placenta representing the first investment for offspring during development.
To determine whether (-)-epicatechin (Epi) could decrease visceral adipose tissue and improve the metabolic profile of male offspring rats, after maternal obesity was induced by a high-fat diet (HFD).
Maternal obesity in albino Wistar rats was induced with a HFD, whereas male offspring were fed with chow diet throughout the study. Eight male offspring per group, from different litters, were randomly assigned to the experimental or to the control groups. In the experimental group, Epi was administered at a dose of 1 mg/kg of body weight to the male offspring twice daily for two weeks, beginning at postnatal day (PND).
Weight of visceral adipose tissue, adipocyte size, and several metabolic parameters.
Epi administration in the male offspring induced a significant decrease in the amount of visceral fat (11.61 g less, P < 0.05) and in the size of adipose cells (28% smaller, P < 0.01). Besides, Epi was able to decrease insulin, leptin, and Homeostasis Model Assessment -Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) (P < 0.05), as well as triglycerides, when the experimental group was compared to the untreated male offspring of obese rats (P < 0.01).
Epi administration can reverse the negative effects that maternal obesity has on the male offspring. This could be because Epi reduces the amount of visceral fat and improves metabolic profile.
Blastocystis spp. is the most frequent infectious unicellular, luminal parasite in all species of animals and humans. It has been linked to diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome. Saccharomyces boulardii (Sb) is a widely used probiotic that previously showed efficacy against several intestinal pathogens. The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic role of Sb on Blastocystis spp. Methods: Five groups of Blastocystis subtype-3 infected rats were treated with either live Sb alone, metronidazole (MTZ) alone, Sb extract, both Sb and MTZ, or placebo-treated besides the noninfected control group. Assessment of treatment effectiveness was done by study of parasitological cure rate, histopathological effect and analysis of the colonic mucosal level of mRNAs expressions for the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR). Results showed that live Sb significantly improved the histological characteristics and decreased the cytokines and iNOS in the colonic mucosa. Co-administration of live Sb together with MTZ gave a better effect than other treatments and had early efficacy and revealed a 100% reduction of the parasite stages from both the stool and intestinal wash fluid.
Studies have shown the positive effects of prebiotics on the intestinal absorption of Ca and Fe. The present study evaluated the effect of fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) supplementation in soya beverage (SB) on absorption mechanisms of Ca and Fe in recently weaned rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: lactose-free cows’ milk (CM), lactose-free CM with FOS (0·8 g/100 ml) (CMF), SB and soya beverage with FOS (0·8 g/100 ml) (SBF). These rats were euthanised after 1 week of treatment. Organ weight, pH of the caecal content and absorption mechanisms of Ca and Fe were evaluated. The results showed that the weight of the caecal contents increased in the CMF and SBF groups, and the pH of the caecal contents was lower in these groups. The Hb levels of the CMF and SB groups were higher when compared with that of the CM group and lower in relation to the SBF group. The apparent Ca and Fe absorption and apparent Ca retention in the CM group were higher when compared with the SB group, whereas in the CMF group, they were higher in relation to the SBF group. Divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) protein expression in the duodenum was higher in the SBF group than in the SB and CMF groups. SB resulted in lower intestinal Ca absorption and higher Hb concentration, despite the lower apparent Fe absorption in relation to CM. Supplementation with FOS provided beneficial effects on Hb and DMT1 protein expression in the duodenum, in addition to improving the absorption process.
We have recently reported that soluble dietary fibre, glucomannan, increased colonic alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and the gene expression without affecting the small-intestinal activity and that colonic ALP was correlated with gut mucins (index of intestinal barrier function). We speculated that dietary fermentable carbohydrates including oligosaccharides commonly elevate colonic ALP and gene expression as well as increase mucin secretion and microbial fermentation. To test this hypothesis, male Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a diet containing 30 % lard with or without 4 % fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), raffinose (RAF) and lactulose (LAC), which are non-digestible oligosaccharides or isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMOS; some digestible oligosaccharides) for 2 weeks. Colon ALP activity, the gene expression and gut luminal variables including mucins, organic acids and microbiota were measured. Colonic ALP was significantly elevated in the FOS, RAF and LAC groups, and a similar trend was observed in the GOS group. Colonic expression of intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP-I), an ALP gene, was significantly elevated in the FOS, GOS and RAF groups and tended to be increased in the LAC group. Dietary FOS, GOS, RAF and LAC significantly elevated faecal mucins, caecal n-butyrate and faecal ratio of Bifidobacterium spp. Dietary IMOS had no effect on colonic ALP, mucins, organic acids and microbiota. Colon ALP was correlated with mucins, caecal n-butyrate and faecal Bifidobacterium spp. This study demonstrated that non-digestible and fermentable oligosaccharides commonly elevate colonic ALP activity and the expression of IAP-I, with increasing mucins and microbial fermentation, which might be important for protection of gut epithelial homoeostasis.
Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation is a critical factor in the development of the offspring. Both protein content and source in maternal diet affect neonatal health, but the long-term effects of maternal low-quality protein diet on the offspring are less clear. This study aimed to examine the effects of maternal low-quality protein diet on offspring’s growth, development, circulating metabolites and hepatic expression of methyltransferases. Virgin Wistar rats were mated at 11 weeks of age. Dams were then maintained on either a chow diet with 20% casein as the control group (C), or a low-quality protein diet with 20% wheat gluten as the experimental group (WG) throughout gestation and lactation. After weaning, all offspring were fed a control chow diet until the age of 20 weeks. Male WG offspring had significantly lower body weight and energy intake, whereas female WG offspring had significantly higher body weight and energy intake when compared with controls. Early life exposure to WG diet had no significant effect on circulating metabolites. However, fasting insulin concentrations and homoeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance were decreased in WG male and female offspring. Maternal low-quality protein diet increased plasma aspartic acid, glutamic acid, histidine, cystathione and decreased lysine in male WG offspring. Conversely, the same amino acids were reduced in female WG offspring. Adult offspring exposed to WG diet had significantly upregulated hepatic DNMT3a and DNMT3b expressions. Our study showed that there were differential effects of maternal poor-quality protein diet upon adult offspring’s metabolism.
The incidence of obesity and its metabolic complications are rapidly increasing and become a major public health issue. This trend is associated with an increase in the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), insulin resistance and diabetes. The sequence of events leading to NAFLD progression and mitochondrial dysfunction and their interrelation remains to be elucidated. This study aimed to explore the installation and progression of NAFLD and its association with the liver mitochondrial structure and activity changes in rats fed an obesogenic diet up to 20 weeks. Male Wistar rats were fed either a standard or high-fat–high-fructose (HFHFR) diet and killed on 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of diet intake. Rats fed the HFHFR diet developed mildly overweight, associated with increased adipose tissue weight, hepatic steatosis, hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia after 8 weeks of HFHFR diet. Hepatic steatosis and many biochemical modifications plateaued at 8–12 weeks of HFHFR diet with slight amelioration afterwards. Interestingly, several biochemical and physiological parameters of mitochondrial function, as well as its phospholipid composition, in particular cardiolipin content, were tightly related to hepatic steatosis installation. These results showed once again the interrelation between hepatic steatosis development and mitochondrial activity alterations without being able to say whether the mitochondrial alterations preceded or followed the installation/progression of hepatic steatosis. Because both hepatic steatosis and mitochondrial alterations occurred as early as 4 weeks of diet, future studies should consider these four 1st weeks to reveal the exact interconnection between these major consequences of obesogenic diet intake.
Egg-white protein (EWP) is known to reduce lymphatic TAG transport in rats. In this study, we investigated the effects of dietary EWP on body fat mass. Male rats, 4 weeks old, were fed diets containing either 20 % EWP or casein for 28 d. Carcass protein levels and gastrocnemius leg muscle weights in the EWP group were significantly higher than those in the casein group. In addition, carcass TAG levels and abdominal fat weights in the EWP group were significantly lower than those in the casein group; adipocyte size in abdominal fat in the EWP group was smaller than that in the casein group. To identify the involvement of dietary fat levels in the rats, one of two fat levels (5 or 10 %) was added to their diet along with the different protein sources (EWP and casein). Abdominal fat weight and serum and hepatic TAG levels were significantly lower in the EWP group than in the casein group. Moreover, significantly higher values of enzymatic activity related to β-oxidation in the liver were observed in the EWP group compared with the casein group. Finally, abdominal fat weight reduction in the EWP group with the 10 % fat diet was lower than that in the EWP group with the 5 % fat diet. In conclusion, our results indicate that, in addition to the inhibition of dietary TAG absorption reported previously, dietary EWP reduces body fat mass in rats through an increase of body protein mass and the acceleration of β-oxidation in the liver.
This study aimed to investigate the expression of DKK1 protein in an experimental model of tympanosclerosis and its possible role in the pathogenesis of this disorder.
Forty Sprague Dawley rats were included in the study: 20 in the control group (which received no treatment) and 20 in the experimental group (which received an incision to induce tympanosclerosis). Otomicroscopy was performed to observe the development of myringosclerosis. Haematoxylin and eosin staining was performed to observe the morphological changes. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry were performed to assess the expression of DKK1 protein.
At day 15, sclerotic lesions were observed in 70 per cent of the tympanic membranes. Inflammatory infiltration and hyaline degeneration markedly appeared in the tympanic membranes and middle-ear mucosa. DKK1 protein was mainly distributed in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells, which were widely distributed in the tympanic membranes and middle-ear mucosa. The expression of DKK1 protein was significantly decreased in the calcified experimental ears.
DKK1 protein is involved in the pathogenesis of tympanosclerosis by regulating the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway.
Two types of diet – standard and atherogenic – were used to study the effect of wheat or wheat–rye breads supplemented with 20 % acid whey concentrate after ultrafiltration on the physiological response of growing rats. The acid whey concentrate after ultrafiltration used in rat diets caused reduced weight gain (for atherogenic diet with wheat bread); growth of caecum tissue and digesta weight; a decrease in the pH of caecum digesta (for atherogenic diet); reduced activity of bacterial glycolytic enzymes; and a significant increase in total SCFA for both types of diet with wheat–rye breads containing acid whey concentrate. For wheat bread with acid whey, in standard diet, a statistically significant increase was found in the population of bifidobacteria. The results showed that the acid whey concentrates could be used as a valuable food ingredient.
This study evaluated the effects of a post-weaning high-fat (HF) diet on somatic growth, food consumption, metabolic parameters, phagocytic rate and nitric oxide (NO) production of peritoneal macrophages in young rats submitted to a maternal low-protein (LP) diet. Male Wistar rats (aged 60 d) were divided in two groups (n 22/each) according to their maternal diet during gestation and lactation: control (C, dams fed 17 % casein) and LP (dams fed 8 % casein). At weaning, half of the groups were fed HF diet and two more groups were formed (HF and low protein–high fat (LP-HF)). Somatic growth, food and energy intake, fat depots, serum glucose, cholesterol and leptin concentrations were evaluated. Phagocytic rate and NO production were analysed in peritoneal macrophages under stimulation of zymosan and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)+interferon γ (IFN-γ), respectively. The maternal LP diet altered the somatic parameters of growth and development of pups. LP and LP-HF pups showed a higher body weight gain and food intake than C pups. HF and LP-HF pups showed increased retroperitoneal and epididymal fat depots, serum level of TAG and total cholesterol compared with C and LP pups. After LPS+IFN-γ stimulation, LP and LP-HF pups showed reduced NO production when compared with their pairs. Increased phagocytic activity and NO production were seen in LP but not LP-HF peritoneal macrophages. However, peritoneal macrophages of LP pups were hyporesponsive to LPS+IFN-γ induced NO release, even after a post-weaning HF diet. Our data demonstrated that there was an immunomodulation related to dietary fatty acids after the maternal LP diet-induced metabolic programming.
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) are involved in many biological functions influencing infant health. Although HMO act locally at the intestine, recent evidence has demonstrated that HMO are partially incorporated into the systemic circulation of breast-fed infants. In the last few years, a large amount of research has been conducted using preclinical models to uncover new biological functions of HMO. The aim of this study was to evaluate the absorption and urine excretion of HMO in rats. We administered a single oral dose of the following HMO: 2'-fucosyllactose (2'-FL), 6'-sialyllactose and lacto-N-neotetraose at different concentrations to adult rats. The time course of absorption of HMO into the bloodstream and their appearance in urine was studied. Our results showed that rats, similar to human infants, are able to effectively absorb a portion of HMO from the intestine into plasma and to excrete them in urine. On the basis of this, we also conducted a specific kinetic absorption study with 2'-FL, the most predominant HMO in human milk, in 9–11-d-old rat pups. Our results confirmed that a significant amount of 2'-FL was absorbed into the systemic circulation and subsequently excreted in urine during lactation in rats in a dose-depended manner. We also found basal levels of these HMO in plasma and urine of adult rats as well as rat pups as a natural result of nursing. Our data suggest that the rat may be a useful preclinical model that provides new insights into the metabolism and functions of HMO.