Maternal vitamin D depletion alters neurogenesis in the developing rat brain
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Evidence is accumulating that normal levels of vitamin D are important for brain development. Vitamin D acts as an anti-proliferative agent in a wide variety of tissues and developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency has been shown to alter brain structure and function. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of DVD deficiency on neuroprogenitor formation in the neonatal brain. We show that DVD deficiency increased the number of neurospheres formed in cultures from the neonatal subventricular zone. Exogenous vitamin D added to the culture medium reduced neurosphere number in control but not DVD cultures. We show the receptor for vitamin D is concentrated in the subventricular zone and is also present in cultured neurospheres prepared from this region. These results show that vitamin D can regulate cell proliferation in the developing brain. Further studies are warranted to examine the underlying mechanisms for these findings.
International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience