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Title: The Effects of Developmental Vitamin D Deficiency on Spatial Learning and Memory in Wistar Rats
Authors: Anwar Nafea Al-Harbi 
Supervisor: Dr. Abdur Rahman Ahmad
Keywords: Vitamin D : Memory
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher:  Kuwait university - college of graduate studies
Abstract: Vitamin D (VD) deficiency is global public health problem. Recent evidence suggests that VD is involved in brain development and function. Low plasma VD has been associated with poor cognitive function in adults but the effect of developmental vitamin D deficiency (DVDD) on cognitive function and brain development in children has not been well-established. We, therefore, conducted this study to explore the effects of DVDD on cognitive functions and brain morphology of rat pups. Wistar rat pups born to control and VD deficient dams were divided into four groups: control (C), deficient during gestation only (dG), deficient during lactation only (dL), deficient during gestation and lactation (dGL). Spatial learning and memory was assessed by Morris water maze test at postnatal day 24 (PND24) and PND45. We also measured cortical thickness at the level of hippocampus at PND63 (after behavioral tests), and counted synapses in specified areas of hippocampus at PND32 and PND63. Repeated measure ANOVA revealed that the dGL group learned significantly slower in comparison to all other groups at PND24, whereas at PND45 both the dL and the dGL groups learned significantly slower compared to the C and dG groups (P <0.05). Short term memory (tested after 2 days of learning sessions) or long term memory (tested after 10 days) was not affected by DVDD either at PND24 or at PND45. All the DVDD groups had significantly fewer (p < 0.001) synapses, and significantly lower (p < 0.05) cortical thickness compared to control group at PND32 and PND63. These results suggest that DVDD in rat pups produce both structural and functional changes in brain. DVDD impairs learning but not memory, and a combined prenatal and postnatal DVDD for at least six weeks impairs learning; DVDD during gestation only does not impair learning.
Appears in Programs:1820 Nutrition Science & Food Science

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