Food and Behaviour Research

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Increased anxiety in mice lacking vitamin D receptor gene

Kalueff AV, Lou YR, Laaksi I, Tuohimaa P. (2004) Neuroreport.  15(8) 1271-4. 

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


Vitamin D is a steroid hormone with many important functions in the brain, mediated through the vitamin D nuclear receptor. Numerous human and animal data link vitamin D dysfunctions to various behavioural disorders.

To examine this problem, we studied whether genetic ablation of vitamin D receptors in mice may be associated with altered emotional behaviours.

Here we show that the receptor-deficient mice demonstrate increased anxiety-like behaviours when subjected to a battery of behavioural tests.

These studies suggest that vitamin D and its receptors are an important factor in the brain, whose imbalance may significantly affect emotional behaviour.

Copyright 2004 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins


These findings are consistent with other research indicating that Vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy and early life may affecr brain development in such a way as to raise the risks for some neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and ADHD

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