Lack of effect of dietary nucleotide supplementation on erythrocyte 2,3-diphosphoglycerate concentration. A study on preterm neonates

Fabio Scopesi, Silvana Canini, Cesare Arioni, Massimo Mazzella, Diego Gazzolo, Pasquale B. Lantieri, Wanda Bonacci, Giovanni Serra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Recently we demonstrated an increased 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) erythrocyte concentration in rat pups subjected to nucleotide-enriched artificial feeding. Design. The present study was carried out to test the hypothesis that a possible increase in 2,3-DPG concentration can also be obtained in human neonates who are fed nucleotide-enriched formula. Preterm neonates born or referred to the neonatal intensive care unit of the G. Gaslini Hospital, Genoa University, with a gestational age > 30 weeks and <37 weeks were enrolled in our randomized trial. Recruitment took place within 48-72 hours from birth. Only newborns of mothers deciding not to breast-feed were eligible to be randomized for the supplemented group (FN) or non-supplemented group (RF). Breast-fed newborns were considered the control group (C). The study window (for supplementation and blood samples) was restricted to the first two weeks following birth (from the 2nd (t1) to the 16th (t2) day of life). At the end of our study, only 21 neonates were eligible for statistical analysis. Results. The stimulating action of dietary nucleotides on 2,3-DPG concentration failed to be demonstrated; increases in 2,3-DPG concentration that were observed in newborns fed with nucleotide supplemented formula (FN) were comparable to those observed in newborns fed with regular formula (RF) and breast-fed newborns. Conclusions. The EC recommendation for the amount of nucleotides allowed in formula milk does not seem to be high enough to have positive effects on 2,3-DPG synthesis. Whether this possible 'pharmacological' effect can be achieved by a higher intake of ingested nucleotides and/or a change in the proportions of single nucleotides contained in milk formulas remain interesting end points to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-346
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2006


  • 2,3-DPG
  • Milk
  • Newborn
  • Nucleotides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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