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Age-related cognitive decline in rats mitigated by Vitamin D intervention – RCT Oct 2012

Teresita L Briones and Hala Darwish
Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:244 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-9-244
Published: 25 October 2012

Increasing evidence shows an association between the use of vitamin D and improvement in age-related cognitive decline. In this study, we investigated the possible mechanisms involved in the neuroprotective effects of vitamin D on age-related brain changes and cognitive function.

Male F344 rats aged 20 months (old) and 6 months (young) were used and randomly assigned to either vitamin D supplementation or no supplementation (control). A total of n = 39 rats were used in the study. Rats were individually housed and the supplementation group received a subcutaneous injection of vitamin D (1, alpha25-dihydroxyvitamin D3) 42 I.U./Kg for 21 days. Control animals received equal volume of normal saline. Behavioral testing in water maze and spontaneous object recognition tasks started on day 14. Levels of interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-10 were quantified to assess inflammatory state. Also, beta amyloid (Abeta) clearance and Abeta load were measured.

Our results show that:

  • 1) aged rats demonstrated significant learning and memory impairment overall compared to younger animals. However, the age-related decline in learning and memory was ameliorated by the supplementation of vitamin D.
    No vitamin D effect on learning and memory was seen in the young animals;
  • 2) the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1beta is significantly increased while the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 is significantly decreased in the aged rats compared to the young animals; but this age-related change in inflammatory state was mitigated by vitamin D supplementation.
    No effects of vitamin D were seen on the IL-1beta and IL-10 expression in the young rats;
  • 3) vitamin D increased Abeta clearance and decreased amyloid burden in the aged rats
    while no significant difference was seen between the young animal groups.

Our data suggest that vitamin D supplementation modulated age-related increase in pro-inflammatory state and amyloid burden. It is possible that these effects of vitamin D mediated the decrease memory impairment seen in the aged rats making it a useful therapeutic option to alleviate the effects of aging on cognitive function.

Chart from PDF: aged rats with vitamin D swim better

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Provisional PDF is attached at the bottom of this page

See also VitaminDWiki

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
1662 Swim.jpg admin 26 Oct, 2012 25.17 Kb 2284
1661 Cognitive decline and inflammation - Oct 2012.pdf admin 26 Oct, 2012 1.41 Mb 984