Developmental vitamin D deficiency alters dopamine-mediated behaviors and dopamine transporter function in adult female rats
Developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency has been proposed as a risk factor for schizophrenia. DVD deficiency in neonatal rats is associated with alterations in cellular development, dopamine metabolism, and brain morphology. DVD-deficient adult rats show novelty-induced hyperlocomotion and an enhanced locomotor response to MK-801, which can be ameliorated by pretreatment with the antipsychotic drug haloperidol.
In this study, we examined locomotor responses of male and female juvenile and adult rats to a dose range of amphetamine. We also measured dopamine receptor and monoamine transporter densities in adult brain.
Female DVD-deficient adult rats displayed an enhanced sensitivity to amphetamine-induced locomotion, an increased dopamine transporter density in the caudate–putamen and increased affinity in the nucleus accumbens compared with control females. By contrast, there were no differences between control and DVD-deficient male rats.
Taken together, this suggests an alteration in the development of the dopamine system and on dopamine-mediated behaviors in female DVD-deficient rats, and this may be relevant to the underlying neurobiology of schizophrenia.