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Serotonin regulated by Vitamin D – part 1 autism – Feb 2014

Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism

Rhonda P. Patrick 1 and Bruce N. Ames
Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California, USA
Correspondence: Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, 5700 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland, CA 94609, USA. E-mail: R.P.P., rpatrick at chori.org; B.N.A., bames at chori.org

See also Part II Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior

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Serotonin and vitamin D have been proposed to play a role in autism; however, no causal mechanism has been established.
Here, we present evidence that vitamin D hormone (calcitriol) activates the transcription of the serotonin-synthesizing gene tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) in the brain at a vitamin D response element (VDRE) and represses the transcription of TPH1 in tissues outside the blood-brain barrier at a distinct VDRE.
The proposed mechanism explains 4 major characteristics associated with autism:

  • the low concentrations of serotonin in the brain and its elevated concentrations in tissues outside the blood-brain barrier;
  • the low concentrations of the vitamin D hormone precursor 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D3];
  • the high male prevalence of autism; and
  • the presence of maternal antibodies against fetal brain tissue.

Two peptide hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, are also associated with autism and genes encoding the oxytocin-neurophysin I preproprotein, the oxytocin receptor, and the arginine vasopressin receptor contain VDREs for activation.
Supplementation with vitamin D and tryptophan is a practical and affordable solution to help prevent autism and possibly ameliorate some symptoms of the disorder.

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Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
13111 Patrick Ames part 2.pdf admin 08 Dec, 2019 788.08 Kb 1001
8349 Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis.pdf admin 26 Aug, 2017 437.54 Kb 1537
3662 Patrick.jpg admin 26 Feb, 2014 14.74 Kb 10432