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Hippocampus. 2012 Mar;22(3):421-33. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20908. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Abnormal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of adult mice lacking 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2 D3).

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Department of Physiology, Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, People's Republic of China.


In this study, we employed 1α-hydroxylase knockout (1α-(OH)ase(-/-) ) mice to investigate the influence of 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D(3) (1,25-(OH)(2) D(3) ) deficiency on the adult neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). The numbers of both 24-hr-old BrdU(+) cells and proliferating cell nuclear antigen positive cells in 8-week-old 1α-(OH)ase(-/-) mice increased approximately twofold compared with wild-type littermates. In contrast, the numbers of 7- and 28-day-old BrdU(+) cells in 1α-(OH)ase(-/-) mice decreased by 50% compared with wild-type mice, while the proportion of BrdU(+) /NeuN(+) cells in BrdU(+) population showed no difference between 1α-(OH)ase(-/-) and wild-type mice. Apoptotic cells in the subgranular zone (SGZ) of DG markedly increased in 1α-(OH)ase(-/-) mice. Replenishment of 1,25-(OH)(2) D(3) , but not correction of serum calcium and phosphorus levels, completely prevented changes in the neurogenesis in 1α-(OH)ase(-/-) mice. The absence of 1,25-(OH)(2) D(3) led to an increase in the expression of L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (L-VGCC) and a decrease in the nerve growth factor (NGF) mRNA level. Treatment with the L-VGCC inhibitor nifedipine blocked the increased cell proliferations by 1,25-(OH)(2) D(3) deficiency. Administration of NGF significantly attenuated the loss of newborn neurons in 1α-(OH)ase(-/-) mice.

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