Effect of vitamin D supplementation on CREB-TrkB-BDNF pathway in the hippocampus of diabetic rats

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Cellular and Molecular Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Experimental Medicine Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Students’ Scientific Research Center (SSRC), Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Biochemistry, Nutrition and Genetics, Medical School, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

6 Dietary supplements and probiotics Research Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

7 Student Research Committee, Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

8 Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, School of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran


Objective(s): Cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate) response element-binding protein (CREB) and Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are reported to broadly involve in learning capacity and memory. BDNF exerts its functions via tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB). BDNF transcription is regulated by stimulating CREB phosphorylation. The CREB-TrkB-BDNF pathway is reported to be affected by diabetes, which may contribute to its cognitive deficits. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the hippocampal fraction of this pathway in an animal model of type-1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).
Materials and Methods: Thirty-six adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups as follows: Group 1: normal healthy rats (n=8); group 2: normal healthy rats receiving sesame oil supplementation as placebo (n=8); Group 3: diabetic rats receiving sesame oil (n=10); and Group 4: diabetic rats treated with 4300 IU/kg/week vitamin D dissolved in sesame oil (n=10). Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal (IP) injection of streptozotocin. Blood and hippocampal samples were acquired at the end of the experiment. RNA was extracted from the hippocampus, and real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) was performed for BDNF and TrkB gene expression.
Results: Administration of vitamin D (4300 IU/kg/week) in a T1DM animal model increased CREB phosphorylation in the hippocampus, but the serum and hippocampal BDNF levels and TrkB and BDNF gene expression did not change significantly.
Conclusion: Vitamin D increased hippocampal CREB phosphorylation in a T1DM animal model. Our findings showed that vitamin D might be protective against central nervous system complications in diabetes. However, future studies are warranted.


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