Prenatal choline supplementation protects against postnatal neurotoxicity.
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Choline, a dietary compound present in many foods, has recently been classified as an essential nutrient for humans. There is evidence from animal models that the availability of choline during the prenatal period influences neural and cognitive development. Here we report that choline supplementation during a 6 d gestational period protects against neurodegeneration in the posterior cingulate and retrosplenial cortices of female adolescent rats produced by peripheral administration of the NMDA receptor antagonist dizocilpine (MK-801). These data show that availability of a single nutrient, choline, during a brief period of prenatal development diminishes vulnerability to neurotoxicity in adolescent offspring.