Food and Behaviour Research

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Developmental vitamin D deficiency alters dopamine-mediated behaviors and dopamine transporter function in adult female rats.

Kesby JP, Cui X, O'Loan J, McGrath JJ, Burne TH, Eyles DW. (2010) Psychopharmacology (Berl).  208(1) 159-68. Epub 2009 Nov 18. 

Web URL: View this and related abstracts via PubMed here


RATIONALE: Developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency has been proposed as a risk factor for schizophrenia. DVD deficiency in neonatal rats is associated with alterations in cellular development, dopamine metabolism, and brain morphology. DVD-deficient adult rats show novelty-induced hyperlocomotion and an enhanced locomotor response to MK-801, which can be ameliorated by pretreatment with the antipsychotic drug haloperidol.

OBJECTIVES: In this study, we examined locomotor responses of male and female juvenile and adult rats to a dose range of amphetamine. We also measured dopamine receptor and monoamine transporter densities in adult brain.

RESULTS: Female DVD-deficient adult rats displayed an enhanced sensitivity to amphetamine-induced locomotion, an increased dopamine transporter density in the caudate-putamen and increased affinity in the nucleus accumbens compared with control females. By contrast, there were no differences between control and DVD-deficient male rats.

DISCUSSION: Taken together, this suggests an alteration in the development of the dopamine system and on dopamine-mediated behaviors in female DVD-deficient rats, and this may be relevant to the underlying neurobiology of schizophrenia.