Vitamin D mitigates age-related cognitive decline through the modulation of pro-inflammatory state and decrease in amyloid burdenReport as inadecuate

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Journal of Neuroinflammation

, 9:244

First Online: 25 October 2012Received: 29 May 2012Accepted: 17 October 2012


BackgroundIncreasing evidence shows an association between the use of vitamin D and improvement in age-related cognitive decline. In this study, we investigated the possible mechanisms involved in the neuroprotective effects of vitamin D on age-related brain changes and cognitive function.

MethodsMale F344 rats aged 20 months old and 6 months young were used and randomly assigned to either vitamin D supplementation or no supplementation control. A total of n = 39 rats were used in the study. Rats were individually housed and the supplementation group received a subcutaneous injection of vitamin D 1, α25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 42 I.U.-Kg for 21 days. Control animals received equal volume of normal saline. Behavioral testing in water maze and spontaneous object recognition tasks started on day 14. Levels of interleukin IL-1β and IL-10 were quantified to assess inflammatory state. Also, beta amyloid Aβ clearance and Aβ load were measured.

ResultsOur results show that: 1 aged rats demonstrated significant learning and memory impairment overall compared to younger animals. However, the age-related decline in learning and memory was ameliorated by the supplementation of vitamin D. No vitamin D effect on learning and memory was seen in the young animals; 2 the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β is significantly increased while the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 is significantly decreased in the aged rats compared to the young animals; but this age-related change in inflammatory state was mitigated by vitamin D supplementation. No effects of vitamin D were seen on the IL-1β and IL-10 expression in the young rats; 3 vitamin D increased Aβ clearance and decreased amyloid burden in the aged rats while no significant difference was seen between the young animal groups.

ConclusionsOur data suggest that vitamin D supplementation modulated age-related increase in pro-inflammatory state and amyloid burden. It is possible that these effects of vitamin D mediated the decrease memory impairment seen in the aged rats making it a useful therapeutic option to alleviate the effects of aging on cognitive function.

KeywordsLearning and memory Object recognition test IL-1β IL-10 Aging Cognitive aging  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Teresita L Briones - Hala Darwish


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