Premature infants (<;37 weeks of gestation) often require hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit, where they may experience painful procedures due to medical care. Oral sucrose is the non-pharmacological standard of care for minor procedural pain relief; 0.5-2mL of a 24% sucrose solution is administered orally prior to each painful procedure. Throughout hospitalization infants can be exposed to high and cumulative volumes of sucrose; however, little is known about the long-term effects of oral sucrose on growth and development. The objective of this study was to determine the long-term effects of repeated neonatal oral sucrose treatment on growth, adiposity, and glucose homeostasis. Neonatal female and male mice (C57BL/6J) were randomly assigned to one of five treatment groups (n=6-10 mice/group/sex): sham (only handled), sterile water, sucrose, fructose, or glucose. Pups were treated 10 times/day for the first six days of life with 0.2g/kg weight of respective treatments (1-4 μl/dose; 24% solutions) orally to mimic what is given to preterm babies. At 3 weeks (weeks), mice were weaned onto a control diet and fed until euthanasia, at 16 weeks. There were no effects of neonatal oral sucrose treatment on glucose and insulin tolerance, and glucose stimulated insulin secretion at weaning or during adulthood. Female sucrose-treated compared to water-treated mice gained less weight (15.4±1.60 vs. 17.4±1.90g), had smaller tibias (15.9± 0.35 vs. 16.67±0.24mm), and lower serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) (378± 98.0 vs. 661±196ng/ml) at 16 weeks. No differences in growth were found in males. However, IGF-1 levels were lower in sucrose-treated vs. sham male mice (401± 143 vs. 641±165ng/ml). Our findings suggest that repetitive neonatal sucrose treatment may affect growth in females through an IGF-1-dependent pathway.


C.Y. Ramirez Contreras: None. E. Mussai: None. A.M. Wiedeman: None. A. Mehran: None. M. Salehzadeh: None. N. Boonpattrawong: None. M. Ranger: None. K.K. Soma: None. L. Holsti: Other Relationship; Self; Provincial Health Services Association. A.M. Devlin: None.


British Columbia Children's Hospital Research Institute

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