Burne TH, Becker A, Brown J, Eyles DW, Mackay-Sim A, McGrath JJ. (2004) Behav Brain Res. 154(2) 549-55.
Rat experiments have shown that prenatal Vitamin D deficiency leads to altered neonatal brain morphology, cell density and neurotrophin expression.
In the current study we examined the hypothesis that Vitamin D deficiency during early development alters adult behaviour even when there is an intervening period in which the animal receives normal Vitamin D in later development.
Rats were conceived and born to Vitamin D deficient dams (Birth); conceived, born and weaned from Vitamin D deficient dams (Weaning); or deficient in Vitamin D from conception to 10 weeks of age (Life). Litters were standardized to three males and three females per litter. All rat offspring were rendered normocalcaemic with calcium supplemented water (2 mM) after weaning. Control animals were born to mothers fed a normal diet but subject to similar litter size and calcium supplementation.
At 10 weeks all animals were tested on the holeboard test, elevated plus maze test, social interaction observation, acoustic startle response test, prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response and a forced swim test.
Early Vitamin D deficiency (Birth group) enhanced locomotion in the holeboard test and increased activity in the elevated plus maze. Thus, transient prenatal Vitamin D deficiency induces hyperlocomotion in adulthood, without severe motor abnormalities.