Food and Behaviour Research

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Impaired motor performance in mice lacking neurosteroid vitamin D receptors

Kalueff AV, Lou YR, Laaksi I, Tuohimaa P. (2004) Brain Res Bull.  64(1):. 25-9 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here.


Vitamin D is a neuroactive seco-steroid and its importance to the nervous system is receiving increasing recognition.

Since numerous data link vitamin D dysfunctions to various neurological and behavioural disorders, we studied whether genetic ablation of vitamin D receptors (VDR) may be associated with motor impairments in mice subjected to several behavioural tests.

The data obtained in the vertical screen and swim tests show that VDR genetic ablation produces severe motor impairment (shorter screen retention and poor swimming) in mutant mice compared to wild-type and heterozygous control animals. These impairments appear to be unrelated to visual, vestibular and activity/emotionality parameters of mice, and are likely associated with disturbed calcium homeostasis.

This study confirms the important role of the vitamin D system in motor functions and suggests that animal genetic models targeting the vitamin D/VDR system may be a useful tool to study vitamin D-related motor/behavioural disorders.