Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy and lactation stimulates nephrogenesis in rat offspring

Noori Maka, John Makrakis, Helena Cecilia Parkington, Marianne Tare, Ruth Morley, Mary Jane Black

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There is increasing evidence of vitamin D insufficiency in women of child-bearing age and their infants. This study examined the effect of maternal vitamin D deficiency on nephron endowment in rat offspring (n = 7 per group). Sprague-Dawley dams were fed either a vitamin D deplete diet or a vitamin replete (control) diet prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy and throughout lactation. At 4 weeks of age the offspring were weaned and maintained on their respective diets until they were killed at 7 weeks. In the fixed right kidney, kidney volume, renal corpuscle volume and nephron number were stereologically determined. There was no difference between groups in body weight, kidney weight or kidney volume. There was a significant 20 increase in nephron number in kidneys of vitamin D deplete offspring (vitamin D deficient, 29,000 +/- 1,858, control, 23,330 +/- 1,828; P = 0.04). This was accompanied by a significant decrease in renal corpuscle size in the vitamin D deplete group compared with the controls (6.125 +/- 0.576 x 10(-4) mm(3) and 8.178 +/- 0.247 x 10(-4) mm(3), respectively; P = 0.03). We concluded that maternal vitamin D deficiency in rats appears to stimulate nephrogenesis. Whether this confers a renal functional advantage or not is unknown.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55 - 61
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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