Vitamin D treatment in Rats

Adzemovic MZ, Zeitelhofer M, Hochmeister S, Gustafsson SA, Jagodic M. Efficacy of vitamin D in treating multiple sclerosis-like neuroinflammation depends on developmental stage. Exp Neurol. 2013 Aug 13. doi:pii: S0014-4886(13)00242-2. 10.1016/j.expneurol.2013.08.002. [Epub ahead of print]

The association of vitamin D deficiency with higher prevalence, relapse rate and progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) has stimulated great interest in using vitamin D supplementation as a preventative measure and even a therapy for established MS. However, there is a considerable lack of evidence when it comes to an age/developmental stage-dependent efficacy of vitamin D action and a time-window for the most effective prophylactic treatment remains unclear. We studied the effect of vitamin D supplementation in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS, at three different developmental stages in rats. Supplementation treatment was initiated: i) prior to gestation and maintained throughout pre- and early postnatal development (gestation and lactation); ii) after weaning, throughout juvenile/adolescence period and iii) in adult age. We observed a marked attenuation of EAE in juvenile/adolescent rats reflected in a less severe CNS inflammation and demyelination, accompanied by a lower amount of IFN-γ producing MOG-specific T cells. Moreover, the cytokine expression pattern in these rats reflected a more anti-inflammatory phenotype of their peripheral immune response. However, the same supplementation regimen failed to improve the disease outcome both in adult rats and in rats treated during pre- and early post-natal development. Our data demonstrate a developmental stage-dependent efficiency of vitamin D to ameliorate neuroinflammation, suggesting that childhood and adolescence should be the target for the most effective preventive treatment.
So vitamin D has some influence of can occur on EAE and affected juvenile animals, but what does it mean for MS…I don’t know……The implications are that vitamin D may be active during childhood so make sure your kids are supplemented if they don’t get enough sunlight but the data in humans look like there is an effect in the uterus

Rats are dark adapted animals and so will not respond to sunlight in the same way as humans and vitamin D no doubt has evolved differnently.

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    • Not likely

      (a) I do not have ethical approval to do anything to pregnant females or juveniles. This could take three to six months to get.

      (b) I am sure we will see a few other publications on this aspect.

      (c) The cost…I won't tell you how much this actually costs to do, but you find it staggering. Therefore useless someone wants to support us to do this, what spare cash for blue sky research goes elsewhere.

      (d) Human studies in MSers are ongoing, if this works it will be who cares about the animals and if it doesn't work then it won't matter what animal studies say because the clinicians dong the study may have killed the idea off

      (e) So we have the question of supplementation during pregnancy, this is being done in France but it will be twenty years before we know. The UK and particularly the Scottish Government and ensure that mums to be are supplementing and ensuring also that their children are fully replete.

    • Here is todays post

      One calcitriol dose transiently increases Helios+FoxP3+ T cells and ameliorates autoimmune demyelinating disease.
      Nashold FE, Nelson CD, Brown LM, Hayes CE.
      J Neuroimmunol. 2013 Aug 6. doi:pii: S0165-5728(13)00205-1. 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2013.07.016. [Epub ahead of print]

      Whilst vitamin D did not do anything in adults mice when they add the active form of vitamin D (calcitriol) then there was disease inhibition suggesting that if you have the disease then there is benefit.

    • I'm currently on a short course for people with Neurological disorders run by an NHS dietician. This is all about getting the right vitamins from food. Although I'm on a healthy diet, I sometimes need a bit extra because of co-morbidities. Deepa's post just looks like this blog is being used as a marketing tool. It isn't a good idea to take supplements without the need or advice from the doctor.

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