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Date:1/17/2014

>Simulation of vitamin D deficiency in mice

The scientists worked with genetically modified mice to explore the details of the mechanism. The vitamin D receptors in the animals were changed so that no vitamin D signalling was possible. Vitamin D also regulates the body's calcium and phosphate balance, so the rodents were given a special diet to ensure that they had enough calcium and phosphorus. The lack of vitamin D was therefore the only deficiency that could have affected the physiology of the animals.

After about a year without vitamin D signalling, the mice had increased blood pressure amplitude. The researchers conducted a series of studies on various tissues from the animals. To understand what lies behind the increased blood pressure amplitude, they focused particularly on the aorta and found decreased expression of eNOS, increased deposition of collagen and fewer elastic fibres. Over time, the blood vessels had become more rigid and less able to adapt flexibly to the volume of blood streaming through them. The consequence was increased blood pressure amplitude and changes in cardiac structure and function. In future studies, the researchers want to examine whether vitamin D affects different cell types in blood vessels in different ways.

Refuelling light for the heart and the circulation

In Europe, it has often been considered to enrich certain foods with vitamin D, as is customary in the United States, for example. However, an external source of vitamin D also carries risks since any excess vitamin D cannot be excreted by the body. When used at very high doses it can lead to calcium deposits in blood vessels, kidneys, lungs and the heart. However, a lack of vitamin D can also have dramatic consequences. Institute board Professor Reinhold Erben states: "It is not that vitamin D deficiency will lead immediately to an increase in blood pressure amplitude or blood pressure, but over the long term it can lead to ca
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Contact: Reinhold Erben
reinhold.erben@vetmeduni.ac.at
43-125-077-4550
University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna
Source:Eurekalert  

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