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Low vitamin D during pregnancy increases risk of future health problems (obesity etc.) – May 2022

Vitamin D Deficiency During Development Permanently Alters Liver Cell Composition and Function

Front. Endocrinol., 12 May 2022 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2022.860286
Kassidy Lundy1, John F. Greally2, Grace Essilfie-Bondzie1, Josephine B. Olivier1, Reanna Doña-Termine1, John M. Greally1 and Masako Suzuki1*
1 Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, United States
2 Retired, Galway, Ireland

Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays a critical role in calcium homeostasis, the immune system, and normal development. Many epidemiological cohort studies globally have found high prevalence rates of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, recognized as an important health issue that needs to be solved. In particular, reproductive age and pregnant women low in vitamin D status may confer risks of diseases like obesity on their offspring. While observational studies have suggested associations between prenatal vitamin D deficiency and metabolic phenotypes in offspring, not yet determined is whether prenatal vitamin D deficiency permanently alters the development of the liver, a major metabolic organ. We tested the histopathology and the transcriptomic profiles of livers from male C57BL/6J mice exposed to prenatal vitamin D deficiency through a maternal dietary intervention model. We found that prenatal vitamin D deficiency increases the prevalence of histopathological changes in the liver, and alters its gene expression profile. Cell subtype proportion analysis showed that the liver of prenatal vitamin D deficiency alters non-parenchymal cells of the liver, specifically macrophages, a subset of endothelial cells, and dendritic cells.

Our results indicate the long-term memory of prenatal vitamin D deficiency exposure in the adult liver, a potential contributor to offspring health risks.
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