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Low vitamin D is bad for the rat brain (and probably human brain) – Dec 2013

Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Dec;65:324-34. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.07.019. Epub 2013 Jul 18.
Jeriel T.R. Keeney a, Sarah Förster a, Rukhsana Sultana a, Lawrence D. Brewer b, Caitlin S. Latimer b, Jian Cai c, Jon B. Klein c, Nada M. Porter b, D. Allan Butterfield a dabcns at uky.edu
a Department of Chemistry, Center of Membrane Sciences, Sanders Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
b Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536, USA
c Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine and Proteomics Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA

In addition to the well-known effects of vitamin D (VitD) in maintaining bone health, there is increasing appreciation that this vitamin may serve important roles in other organs and tissues, including the brain. Given that VitD deficiency is especially widespread among the elderly, it is important to understand how the range of serum VitD levels that mimic those found in humans (from low to high) affects the brain during aging from middle age to old age. To address this issue, 27 male F344 rats were split into three groups and fed isocaloric diets containing

  • low (100IU/kg food),
  • control (1000IU/kg food), or
  • high (10,000IU/kg food)

VitD beginning at middle age (12 months) and continued for a period of 4-5 months. We compared the effects of these dietary VitD manipulations on oxidative and nitrosative stress measures in posterior brain cortices. The low-VitD group showed global elevation of 3-nitrotyrosine compared to control and high-VitD-treated groups. Further investigation showed that this elevation may involve dysregulation of the nuclear factor κ-light-chain enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) pathway and NF-κB-mediated transcription of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) as indicated by translocation of NF-κB to the nucleus and elevation of iNOS levels. Proteomics techniques were used to provide insight into potential mechanisms underlying these effects. Several brain proteins were found at significantly elevated levels in the low-VitD group compared to the control and high-VitD groups. Three of these proteins, 6-phosphofructokinase, triose phosphate isomerase, and pyruvate kinase, are involved directly in glycolysis. Two others, peroxiredoxin-3 and DJ-1/PARK7, have peroxidase activity and are found in mitochondria. Peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase A (cyclophilin A) has been shown to have multiple roles, including protein folding, regulation of protein kinases and phosphatases, immunoregulation, cell signaling, and redox status.
Together, these results suggest that dietary VitD deficiency contributes to significant nitrosative stress in brain and may promote cognitive decline in middle-aged and elderly adults.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. PDF costs $35 until Dec 2014
PMID: 23872023

See also VitaminDWiki