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.