Research Article Open Access

Gene Expression of FADS2 mRNA Linked to Intelligence in Exclusively Breast Milk Fed Preterms

Naglaa F. Alhusseini1, Amal Idris Ali1, Azza M.A. Abul-Fadl1, Amira A. Abu-Zied1 and Sheref M. El-Taher1
  • 1 Benha University, Egypt


Breastfeeding is important for brain development and was shown by many studies to result in higher scores Intelligent Quotient (IQ). However, the exact mechanism whereby Breastfeeding influences cognitive development remains unclear. This study aimed to study the expression of genetic code FADS2 linked to the cognitive function in relation to the mode of feeding. The study comprised 30 preterm infants of 32 to 34 weeks gestation age including 15 exclusively breastfed and 15 fed on Infant Milk Formula (IMF) selected from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Talkha Central Hospital in Dakahlia Governorate Egypt. Blood samples were drawn at birth and at 12 weeks of life and FADS2 mRNA gene expression-was measured using real time PCR at birth and at 12 weeks of life. Blood indices were measured at 12 weeks. FADS2 mRNA gene expression demonstrated a significant increase from birth to 3 months, with 109 folds rise in breast fed group compared to five folds rise in the artificially fed group at (p<0.001). Breast milk influences gene expression. The higher FADS2 expression observed in the breastfed group can be used to predict higher IQ scores in the breastfed preterm. The mammary gland could be an organ that stipulates and regulates genetic expression in the newborn.

American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Volume 10 No. 4, 2014, 267-274


Submitted On: 20 August 2014 Published On: 25 November 2014

How to Cite: Alhusseini, N. F., Ali, A. I., Abul-Fadl, A. M., Abu-Zied, A. A. & El-Taher, S. M. (2014). Gene Expression of FADS2 mRNA Linked to Intelligence in Exclusively Breast Milk Fed Preterms. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 10(4), 267-274.

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  • FADS2-Breast Milk
  • Cognitive Function
  • Intelligent Quotient
  • Preterm
  • Gene Expression