Dietary creatine supplementation during pregnancy: a study on the effects of creatine supplementation on creatine homeostasis and renal excretory function in spiny mice

Stacey J. Ellery, Domenic A. LaRosa, Michelle M. Kett, Paul A. Della Gatta, Rod J. Snow, David W. Walker, Hayley Dickinson

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Recent evidence obtained from a rodent model of birth asphyxia shows that supplementation of the maternal diet with creatine during pregnancy protects the neonate from multi-organ damage. However, the effect of increasing creatine intake on creatine homeostasis and biosynthesis in females, particularly during pregnancy, is unknown. This study assessed the impact of creatine supplementation on creatine homeostasis, body composition, capacity for de novo creatine synthesis and renal excretory function in non-pregnant and pregnant spiny mice. Mid-gestation pregnant and virgin spiny mice were fed normal chow or chow supplemented with 5 % w/w creatine for 18 days. Weight gain, urinary creatine and electrolyte excretion were assessed during supplementation. At post mortem, body composition was assessed by Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or tissues were collected to assess creatine content and mRNA expression of the creatine synthesising enzymes arginine:glycine amidinotransferase (AGAT) and guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT) and the creatine transporter (CrT1). Protein expression of AGAT and GAMT was also assessed by Western blot. Key findings of this study include no changes in body weight or composition with creatine supplementation; increased urinary creatine excretion in supplemented spiny mice, with increased sodium (P < 0.001) and chloride (P < 0.05) excretion in pregnant dams after 3 days of supplementation; lowered renal AGAT mRNA (P < 0.001) and protein (P < 0.001) expressions, and lowered CrT1 mRNA expression in the kidney (P < 0.01) and brain (P < 0.001). Creatine supplementation had minimal impact on creatine homeostasis in either non-pregnant or pregnant spiny mice. Increasing maternal dietary creatine consumption could be a useful treatment for birth asphyxia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1819-1830
Number of pages12
JournalAmino Acids
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Birth asphyxia
  • Cellular energy
  • Fetal hypoxia
  • Metabolism
  • Nutrition

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