Abstract: In a previous study, we demonstrated that mouse adult F1 offspring, exposed to a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, developed a less severe and delayed Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), when compared with control offspring. We then wondered whether a similar response was observed in the subsequent generation. To answer this question, we assessed F2 females whose F1 parents (males or females) were vitamin D-deprived when developing in the uterus of F0 females. Unexpectedly, we observed that the vitamin D deficiency affecting the F0 pregnant mice induced a precocious and more severe EAE in the F2 generation. This paradoxical finding led us to assess its implications for the epidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in humans. Using the REFGENSEP database for MS trios (the patient and his/her parents), we collected the parents’ dates of birth and assessed a potential season of birth effect that could potentially be indicative of the vitamin D status of the pregnant grandmothers. A trend for a reduced number of births in the Fall for the parents of MS patients was observed but statistical significance was not reached. Further well powered studies are warranted to validate the latter finding.
Keywords: vitamin D experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; multiple sclerosis; deficiency; season of birth; transgenerational
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Fernandes de Abreu, D.A.; Landel, V.; Barnett, A.G.; McGrath, J.; Eyles, D.; Feron, F. Prenatal Vitamin D Deficiency Induces an Early and More Severe Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in the Second Generation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 10911-10919.
Fernandes de Abreu DA, Landel V, Barnett AG, McGrath J, Eyles D, Feron F. Prenatal Vitamin D Deficiency Induces an Early and More Severe Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in the Second Generation. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2012; 13(9):10911-10919.
Fernandes de Abreu, Diana Andrea; Landel, Véréna; Barnett, Adrian G.; McGrath, John; Eyles, Darryl; Feron, Francois. 2012. "Prenatal Vitamin D Deficiency Induces an Early and More Severe Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in the Second Generation." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13, no. 9: 10911-10919.