Recent observational studies have reported that patients with low circulating levels of vitamin D experience larger infarct volumes and worse functional outcomes after ischemic stroke compared to those with sufficient levels. However, it is unknown whether a causal relationship exists between low vitamin D levels and poor stroke outcome. This study aimed to assess the effect of vitamin D deficiency on acute outcomes post-stroke. Male C57Bl6 mice (six week old) were assigned to either a control or vitamin D deficient diet for four weeks prior to stroke. Stroke was induced by 1 h middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) with reperfusion. At 24 h, we assessed functional outcomes, infarct volume, quantified immune cells in the brain by immunofluorescence and examined susceptibility to lung infection. ELISAs showed that the plasma level of hydroxyvitamin D3 was 85% lower in mice fed the vitamin D-deficient diet compared with the control group. Despite this, vitamin D deficiency had no impact on functional outcomes or infarct volume after stroke. Further, there were no differences in the numbers of infiltrating immune cells or bacterial load within the lungs. These data suggest that diet-induced vitamin D deficiency has no effect on acute post-stroke outcomes.
- middle cerebral artery occlusion
- Vitamin D deficiency