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2.  Supplementation with 200 mg/Day Docosahexaenoic Acid from Mid-Pregnancy through Lactation Improves the Docosahexaenoic Acid Status of Mothers with a Habitually Low Fish Intake and of Their Infants 
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism  2008;52(2):157-166.
Background/Aims
The supply of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6ω–3), important for fetal/infant neurodevelopment, depends on the maternal fatty acid (FA) status, which may be marginal in central Europe. Therefore, we investigated the effect of a daily vitamin/mineral supplement with and without 200 mg DHA from mid-pregnancy through lactation on the DHA concentrations in maternal and infant red blood cell phospholipids (RBC%), and in breast milk FA (%).
Methods
At 21 weeks’ gestation, 144 women were enrolled into a randomised, double-blind clinical trial receiving daily: (1) a basic vitamin-mineral supplement (Vit/Min group), (2) Vit/Min plus 4.5 g fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS group), or (3) Vit/Min plus 4.5 g FOS plus 200 mg fish oil-derived DHA (DHA-FOS group). FAs were determined by capillary gas-liquid chromatography.
Results
While maternal RBC-DHA% at enrolment was not different, at 37 weeks gestation, and 3 months after delivery RBC-DHA% were significantly higher in the DHA-FOS group. The breast milk DHA% was twice as high in the DHA-FOS group (0.50%) than in the two others (0.25 %) (p < 0.001), and the ratio ARA/DHA in the DHA-FOS group was 1.0 ± 0.43, in the others 2.1 ± 0.43 (p < 0.001). The RBC-DHA% of the infants in the DHA-FOS group was also significantly higher, and correlated significantly with maternal RBC-DHA% before and 3 months after delivery.
Conclusions
In central Europe, a dose of 200 mg/day DHA from mid-pregnancy through lactation seems appropriate to improve the DHA status of mothers and infants.
doi:10.1159/000129651
PMCID: PMC2790529  PMID: 18446020
Supplements; Docosahexaenoic acid; Pregnancy; Lactation; Concentration; Erythrocytes; Breast milk
3.  Preconceptional factors associated with very low birthweight delivery in East and West Berlin: a case control study 
BMC Public Health  2002;2:10.
Background
Very low birthweight, i.e. a birthweight < 1500 g, is among the strongest determinants of infant mortality and childhood morbidity. To develop primary prevention approaches to VLBW birth and its sequelae, information is needed on the causes of preterm birth, their personal and social antecedents, and on conditions associated with very low birthweight. Despite the growing body of evidence linking sociodemographic variables with preterm delivery, little is known as to how this may be extrapolated to the risk of very low birthweight.
Methods
In 1992, two years after the German unification, we started to recruit two cohorts of very low birthweight infants and controls in East and West Berlin for a long-term neurodevelopmental study. The present analysis was undertaken to compare potential preconceptional risk factors for very low birthweight delivery in a case-control design including 166 mothers (82 East vs. 84 West Berlin) with very low birthweight delivery and 341 control mothers (166 East vs. 175 West).
Results
Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to assess the effects of various dichotomous parental covariates and their interaction with living in East or West Berlin. After backward variable selection, short maternal school education, maternal unemployment, single-room apartment, smoking, previous preterm delivery, and fetal loss emerged as significant main effect variables, together with living in West Berlin as positive effect modificator for single-mother status.
Conclusion
Very low birthweight has been differentially associated with obstetrical history and indicators of maternal socioeconomic status in East and West Berlin. The ranking of these risk factors is under the influence of the political framework.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-2-10
PMCID: PMC117217  PMID: 12095425
4.  Patients with preeclampsia develop agonistic autoantibodies against the angiotensin AT1 receptor 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1999;103(7):945-952.
Immune mechanisms and the renin–angiotensin system are implicated in preeclampsia. We investigated 25 preeclamptic patients and compared them with 12 normotensive pregnant women and 10 pregnant patients with essential hypertension. Antibodies were detected by the chronotropic responses to AT1 receptor–mediated stimulation of cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes coupled with receptor-specific antagonists. Immunoglobulin from all preeclamptic patients stimulated the AT1 receptor, whereas immunoglobulin from controls had no effect. The increased autoimmune activity decreased after delivery. Affinity-column purification and anti–human IgG and IgM antibody exposure implicated an IgG antibody directed at the AT1 receptor. Peptides corresponding to sites on the AT1 receptor's second extracellular loop abolished the stimulatory effect. Western blotting with purified patient IgG and a commercially obtained AT1 receptor antibody produced bands of identical molecular weight. Furthermore, confocal microscopy of vascular smooth muscle cells showed colocalization of purified patient IgG and AT1 receptor antibody. The protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor calphostin C prevented the stimulatory effect. Our results suggest that preeclamptic patients develop stimulatory autoantibodies against the second extracellular AT1 receptor loop. The effect appears to be PKC-mediated. These novel autoantibodies may participate in the angiotensin II–induced vascular lesions in these patients.
PMCID: PMC408252  PMID: 10194466

Results 1-4 (4)