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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2003 Sep 1;417(1):77-80.

Oral administration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 completely protects NOD mice from insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)), the biologically active form of vitamin D, is widely recognized as a modulator of the immune system as well as a regulator of mineral metabolism. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of vitamin D status and treatment with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) on diabetes onset in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, a murine model of human type I diabetes. We have found that vitamin D-deficiency increases the incidence of diabetes in female mice from 46% (n=13) to 88% (n=8) and from 0% (n=10) to 44% (n=9) in male mice as of 200 days of age when compared to vitamin D-sufficient animals. Addition of 50 ng of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)/day to the diet prevented disease onset as of 200 days and caused a significant rise in serum calcium levels, regardless of gender or vitamin D status. Our results indicate that vitamin D status is a determining factor of disease susceptibility and oral administration of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) prevents diabetes onset in NOD mice through 200 days of age.

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