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Horm Metab Res. 2009 Apr;41(4):277-80. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1103287. Epub 2008 Dec 3.

Influence of neonatal vitamin A or vitamin D treatment on the concentration of biogenic amines and their metabolites in the adult rat brain.

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Department of Pharmacodynamics, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.


Newborn male rats were treated with a single dose of 3 mg vitamin A (retinol) or 0.05 mg vita-min D (cholecalciferol), and three months later five brain regions (frontopolar cortex, hypothalamus, hippocampus, striatum, and brainstem) were studied for tissue levels of dopamine (DA), serotonin (5HT), and metabolites such as homovanillic acid (HVA), as well as 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid (5HIAA). Vitamin A treatment as hormonal imprinting significantly decreased 5HIAA levels in each brain region. Vitamin D imprinting significantly elevated DA only in the brainstem and HVA levels in striatum and hypothalamus. Present and earlier brain-imprinting results (with brain-produced substances), show that the profound and life-long effect of neonatal hormonal imprinting on neurotransmitter production of the adult brain seems to be well established. As prophylactic treatment with these vitamins is frequent in the perinatal period, the imprinting effect of vitamin A and vitamin D must be taken into consideration.

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