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Neural tube defects of pregnant mice reduced by Vitamin D (perhaps less Folate needed) – April 2015

Supplementation With Vitamin D3 During Pregnancy Protects Against Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Neural Tube Defects Through Improving Placental Folate Transportation

Toxicological Sciences Volume 145, Issue 1Pp. 90-97.
Yuan-Hua Chen*,†,‡,1, Zhen Yu*,†,1, Lin Fu*, Mi-Zhen Xia§, Mei Zhao†, Hua Wang*,†, Cheng Zhang*, Yong-Fang Hu*, Fang-Biao Tao†, and De-Xiang Xu*,†, xudex at 126.com.
Department of Toxicology, †Anhui Provincial Key Laboratory of Population Health & Aristogenics, ‡School of Basic Medical Science and §School of Life Science, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China

VitaminDWiki summary

Pregnant mice injected with LPS get neural tube defects.
Vitamin D reduces the amount of % of defects by improving Folate.
Abstract does not say by how much.


Several reports demonstrated that maternal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure at middle gestational stage caused neural tube defects (NTDs). This study investigated the effects of supplementation with vitamin D3 (VitD3) during pregnancy on LPS-induced NTDs. Pregnant mice except controls were ip injected with LPS (25 μg/kg) daily from gestational day (GD)8 to GD12. In LPS+VitD3 group, pregnant mice were orally administered with VitD3 (25 μg/kg) before LPS injection. As expected, a 5-day LPS injection resulted in 62.5% (10/16) of dams and 20.3% of fetuses with NTDs. Additional experiment showed that a 5-day LPS injection downregulated placental proton-coupled folate transporter (pcft) and reduced folate carrier 1 (rfc1), 2 major folate transporters in placentas. Consistent with downregulation of placental folate transporters, folate transport from maternal circulation into embryos was disturbed in LPS-treated mice. Interestingly,

VitD3 not only inhibited placental inflammation but also attenuated LPS-induced downregulation of placental folate transporters. Correspondingly, VitD3 markedly improved folate transport from maternal circulation into the embryos.

Importantly, supplementation with VitD3 during pregnancy protected mice from LPS-induced NTDs.
Taken together, these results suggest that supplementation with VitD3 during pregnancy prevents LPS-induced NTDs through inhibiting placental inflammation and improving folate transport from maternal circulation into the embryos.

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