No role for vitamin D or a moderate fat diet in aging induced cognitive decline and emotional reactivity in C57BL/6 mice

E.M. Brouwer-Brolsma, T. Schuurman, L.C.P.G.M. de Groot, E.J.M. Feskens, C. Lute, E.F.G. Naninck, S.S. Arndt, F.J. van der Staay, N. Bravenboer, A. Korosi, W.T. Steegenga

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Background: Epidemiological studies have shown associations between vitamin D, mental health and
    glucose homeostasis in the elderly. Causal evidence, however, is still lacking.
    Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the importance of vitamin D in the prevention of
    emotional disturbances and cognitive decline in aging C57BL/6 mice, with pre-diabetes type II as potential
    effect modifier.
    Methods: Mice were exposed to one of four diets from 10 months till 24 months of age: low fat vitamin
    D adequate (LFD), LF vitamin D deficient (LF), moderate fat vitamin D adequate (MFD), and MF vitamin
    D deficient (MF). The MFD/MF diet was applied to induce a condition resembling pre-diabetes type II.
    Behavior was assessed twice in the same group of mice at 6–8 and at 22–23 months of age using the
    Open Field Test (OFT), Elevated Plus Maze (EPM), Object Recognition Test (ORT) and the Morris Water
    Maze (MWM).
    Results: We successfully induced vitamin D deficiency in the LF/MF mice. Moreover, fasting glucose and
    fasting insulin levels were significantly higher in MFD/MF mice than in LFD/LF mice. A significant aging
    effect was observed for most behavioral parameters. A MF(D) diet was shown to delay or prevent the agerelated
    increase in emotional reactivity in the EPM. No effect of vitamin D or vitamin D*fat on behavioral
    outcomes was measured.
    Conclusion: Aging significantly affected emotional reactivity and cognitive performance. Although other
    studies have shown effects of vitamin D on emotional reactivity and cognitive performance in mice, these
    findings could not be confirmed in aged C57BL/6 mice in this study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)133-143
    Number of pages11
    JournalBehavioural Brain Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Vitamin D
    • Pre diabetes type II
    • Aging
    • Cognition
    • Emotional reactivity


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