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Open AccessArticle

Developmental Vitamin D Deficiency Produces Behavioral Phenotypes of Relevance to Autism in an Animal Model

1
Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4076, Australia
2
Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Brisbane, QLD 4076, Australia
3
Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
4
Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
5
NCRR—National Centre for Register-based Research, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Aarhus C 8000, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051187
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D in Health and the Prevention and Treatment of Disease)
Emerging evidence suggests that gestational or developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency is associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social interaction, lack of verbal and non-verbal communications, stereotyped repetitive behaviors and hyper-activities. There are several other clinical features that are commonly comorbid with ASD, including olfactory impairments, anxiety and delays in motor development. Here we investigate these features in an animal model related to ASD—the DVD-deficient rat. Compared to controls, both DVD-deficient male and female pups show altered ultrasonic vocalizations and stereotyped repetitive behavior. Further, the DVD-deficient animals had delayed motor development and impaired motor control. Adolescent DVD-deficient animals had impaired reciprocal social interaction, while as adults, these animals were hyperactive. The DVD-deficient model is associated with a range of behavioral features of interest to ASD. View Full-Text
Keywords: Vitamin D; autism spectrum disorder; behavior; brain development; animal model; ultrasonic vocalizations Vitamin D; autism spectrum disorder; behavior; brain development; animal model; ultrasonic vocalizations
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Ali, A.; Vasileva, S.; Langguth, M.; Alexander, S.; Cui, X.; Whitehouse, A.; McGrath, J.J.; Eyles, D. Developmental Vitamin D Deficiency Produces Behavioral Phenotypes of Relevance to Autism in an Animal Model. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1187.

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