Darryl W Eyles

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Publications (171)527.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin D is a neuroactive steroid. Its genomic actions are mediated via the active form of vitamin D, 1,25(OH)2D3, binding to the vitamin D receptor (VDR). The VDR emerges in rat mesencephalon at embryonic day 12, representing the peak period of dopaminergic cell birth. Our prior studies reveal that developmental vitamin D (DVD)-deficiency alters the ontogeny of dopaminergic neurons in the developing mesencephalon. There is also consistent evidence from others that 1,25(OH)2D3 promotes the survival of dopaminergic neurons in models of dopaminergic toxicity. In both developmental and toxicological studies it has been proposed that 1,25(OH)2D3 may modulate the differentiation and maturation of dopaminergic neurons; however, to date there is lack of direct evidence. The aim of the current study is to investigate this both in vitro using a human SH-SY5Y cell line transfected with rodent VDR and in vivo using a DVD-deficient model. Here we show that in VDR-expressing SH-SY5Y cells, 1,25(OH)2D3 significantly increased production of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis. This effect was dose- and time-dependent, but was not due to an increase in TH-positive cell number, nor was it due to the production of trophic survival factors for dopamine neurons such as glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). In accordance with 1,25(OH)2D3's anti-proliferative actions in the brain, 1,25(OH)2D3 reduced the percentage of dividing cells from approximately 15% to 10%. Given the recently reported role of N-cadherin in the direct differentiation of dopaminergic neurons, we examined here whether it may be elevated by 1,25(OH)2D3. We confirmed this in vitro and more importantly, we showed DVD-deficiency decreases N-cadherin expression in the embryonic mesencephalon. In summary, in our in vitro model we have shown 1,25(OH)2D3 increases TH expression, decreases proliferation and elevates N-cadherin, a potential factor that mediates these processes. Accordingly all of these findings are reversed in the developing brain in our DVD-deficiency model. Remarkably our findings in the DVD-deficiency model phenocopy those found in a recent model where N-cadherin was regionally ablated from the mesencephalon. This study has, for the first time, shown that vitamin D directly modulates TH expression and strongly suggests N-cadherin may be a plausible mediator of this process both in vitro and in vivo. Our findings may help to explain epidemiological data linking DVD deficiency with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuroscience 07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.07.048 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wolbachia are endosymbionts that infect approximately 40% of all insect species and are best known for their ability to manipulate host reproductive systems. Though the effect Wolbachia infection has on somatic tissues is less well understood, when present in cells of the adult Drosophila melanogaster brain, it exerts an influence over behaviors related to olfaction. Here we show that a strain of Wolbachia influences male aggression in flies, which is critically important in mate competition. A specific strain of Wolbachia was observed to reduce the initiation of aggressive encounters in Drosophila males when compared against their uninfected controls. To determine how Wolbachia was able to alter aggressive behavior, we investigated the role of octopamine, a neurotransmitter known to influence male aggressive behavior in many insect species. Transcriptional analysis of the octopamine biosynthesis pathway revealed that two essential genes, tryrosine decarboxylase and tyramine β-hydroxylase, were significantly down regulated in Wolbachia infected flies. Quantitative chemical analysis also showed that total octopamine levels were significantly reduced in the adult heads. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 05/2015; DOI:10.1128/AEM.00573-15 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Insufficient vitamin D activity has attracted increasing interest as a possible underlying risk factor in disorders of the central nervous system, including autism. In this study, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) was analysed in 58 Sweden-born sibling pairs, in which one child had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the other did not. The study group consisted of two representative samples; 47 Gothenburg sibling pairs with mixed ethnicities and 11 Stockholm sibling pairs with Somali background. 25(OH)D levels were analysed in the stored dried blood spots taken in the neonatal period for metabolic screening. The collapsed group of children with ASD had significantly lower vitamin D levels (M = 24.0 nM, SD = 19.6) as compared with their siblings (M = 31.9 nM, SD = 27.7), according to a paired samples t-test (P = 0.013). The difference was - most likely - not only accounted for by a difference in season of birth between ASD and non-ASD siblings since the mean 25(OH)D levels differed with similar effect size between the sibling pairs born during winter and summer, respectively. All children with African/Middle East background, both the children with ASD and their non-ASD siblings, had vitamin D deficiency. The findings suggest that low prenatal vitamin D may act as a risk factor for ASD, however, there is a need for replication with larger samples. Future research should study whether or not adequate supplementation of vitamin D to pregnant women might lower the risk for ASD in the offspring.
    Molecular Autism 01/2015; 6(3). DOI:10.1186/2040-2392-6-3 · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytokines and vitamin D both have a role in modulating the immune system, and are also potentially useful biomarkers in mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia. Studying the variability of cytokines and vitamin D in a healthy population sample may add to understanding the association between these biomarkers and mental illness. To assess genetic and environmental contributions to variation in circulating levels of cytokines and vitamin D (25-hydroxy vitamin D: 25(OH)D3), we analyzed data from a healthy adolescent twin cohort (mean age 16.2 years; standard deviation 0.25). Plasma cytokine measures were available for 400 individuals (85 MZ, 115 DZ pairs), dried blood spot sample vitamin D measures were available for 378 individuals (70 MZ, 118 DZ pairs). Heritability estimates were moderate but significant for the cytokines transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), 0.57 (95% CI 0.26-0.80) and tumor necrosis factor-receptor type 1 (TNFR1), 0.50 (95% CI 0.11-0.63) respectively. Measures of 25(OH)D3 were within normal range and heritability was estimated to be high (0.86, 95% CI 0.61-0.94). Assays of other cytokines did not generate meaningful results. These potential biomarkers may be useful in mental illness, with further research warranted in larger sample sizes. They may be particularly important in adolescents with mental illness where diagnostic uncertainty poses a significant clinical challenge.
    Twin Research and Human Genetics 12/2014; 18(01):1-8. DOI:10.1017/thg.2014.70 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viruses are frequently associated with acute exacerbations of asthma, but the extent to which they contribute to the level of day-to-day symptom control is less clear. We sought to explore the relationship between viral infections, host and environmental factors, and respiratory symptoms in children. Sixty-seven asthmatic children collected samples twice weekly for an average of 10 weeks. These included nasal wash fluid and exhaled breath for PCR-based detection of viral RNA, lung function measurements, and records of medication use and asthma and respiratory symptoms in the previous 3 days. Atopy, mite allergen exposure, and vitamin D levels were also measured. Mixed-model regression analyses were performed. Human rhinoviruses (hRVs) were detected in 25.5% of 1232 nasal samples and 11.5% of breath samples. Non-hRV viruses were detected in less than 3% of samples. hRV in nasal samples was associated with asthma symptoms (cough and phlegm: odds ratio = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.4-2.86, P = .0001; wheeze and chest tightness: odds ratio = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.55-3.52, P < .0001) and with cold symptoms, as reported concurrently with sampling and 3 to 4 days later. No differences were found between the 3 hRV genotypes (hRV-A, hRV-B, and hRV-C) in symptom risk. A history of inhaled corticosteroid use, but not atopic status, mite allergen exposure, or vitamin D levels, modified the association between viruses and asthma symptoms. The detection of nasal hRV was associated with a significantly increased risk of day-to-day asthma symptoms in children. Host, virus genotype, and environmental factors each had only a small or no effect on the relationship of viral infections to asthma symptoms. Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 12/2014; 135(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2014.10.020 · 11.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decade a convergent body of evidence has emerged from epidemiology, animal experiments and clinical trials which links low vitamin D status with a range of adverse neuropsychiatric outcomes. This research demonstrates that the timing of exposure to low vitamin D influences the nature of brain phenotypes, as exposures during gestation versus adulthood result in different phenotypes. With respect to early life exposures, there is robust evidence from rodent experiments indicating that transient developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency is associated with changes in brain structure, neurochemistry, gene and protein expression and behavior. In particular, DVD deficiency is associated with alterations in the dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems. In contrast, recently published animal experiments indicate that adult vitamin D (AVD) deficiency is associated with more subtle neurochemical and behavioral phenotypes. This paper explores key issues that need to be addressed in future research. There is a need to define the timing and duration of the ‘critical window’ during which low vitamin D status is associated with differential and adverse brain outcomes. We discuss the role for ‘two-hit hypotheses’, which propose that adult vitamin D deficiency leaves the brain more vulnerable to secondary adverse exposures, and thus may exacerbate disease progression. Finally, we explore the evidence implicating a role for vitamin D in rapid, non-genomic mechanisms that may involve L-type calcium channels and brain function.
    The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 11/2014; 148. DOI:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2014.11.004 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a pivotal role in coordinating messenger RNA (mRNA) transcription and stability in almost all known biological processes, including the development of the central nervous system. Despite our broad understanding of their involvement, we still have a very sparse understanding of specifically how miRNA contribute to the strict regional and temporal regulation of brain development. Accordingly, in the current study we have examined the contribution of miRNA in the developing rat telencephalon and mesencephalon from just after neural tube closure till birth using a genome-wide microarray strategy. Results We identified temporally distinct expression patterns in both the telencephalon and mesencephalon for both miRNAs and their target genes. We demonstrate direct miRNA targeting of several genes involved with the migration, differentiation and maturation of neurons. Conclusions Our findings suggest that miRNA have significant implications for the development of neural structure and support important mechanisms that if disrupted, may contribute to or drive neurodevelopmental disorders. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-777) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    BMC Genomics 09/2014; 15(1):777. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-15-777 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Low vitamin D status at birth may be associated with risk of adult onset multiple sclerosis, but this link has not been studied directly. We assessed the relation between neonatal vitamin D concentrations, measured in stored blood samples, and risk of multiple sclerosis.Methods This was a population-based case-control study in Sweden including 459 incident cases of multiple sclerosis and 663 controls, randomly drawn from a national population registry and frequency matched on sex, age, and residential area.ResultsThere was no association between neonatal 25-hydroxyvitamin D quintile and risk of multiple sclerosis (crude odds ratio = 1.0, 95% confidence interval = 0.68-1.44, for the highest quintile compared to the lowest). Adjusting for a number of potential confounding factors in early life (month of birth, latitude of birth, breastfeeding) and in adult life (25-hydroxyvitamin D, sun exposure, vitamin D intake from dairy products, fatty fish consumption, smoking, body mass index at 20 years of age) as well as ancestry, multiple sclerosis heredity, and socioeconomic group did not considerably affect the result.InterpretationAt a broad population level, 25-hydroxyvitamin D at birth was not associated with risk of multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol 2014;76:338-346
    Annals of Neurology 09/2014; 76(3). DOI:10.1002/ana.24210 · 11.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Repeated exposure to psychostimulants that either increase dopamine (DA) release or target N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors can induce behavioural sensitisation, a phenomenon that may be important for the processes of addiction and even psychosis. A critical component of behavioural sensitisation is an increase in DA release within mesocorticolimbic circuits. In particular, sensitisation to amphetamine leads to increased DA release within well-known sub-cortical brain regions and also regulatory regions such as prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, it is unknown how DA release within the PFC of animals is altered by sensitisation to NMDA receptor antagonists.
    Psychopharmacology 07/2014; 232(3). DOI:10.1007/s00213-014-3689-9 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Context: Recognition that vitamin D might be associated with many chronic diseases has led to large-scale epidemiological and clinical studies. Dried blood spots (DBS) are a useful resource for these studies. Consequently, accurate, efficient and inexpensive assays to quantify 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) in DBS are required. Objective: This study evaluated the validity and reliability of a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assay for measuring 25OHD in archived DBS, and compared measurements of 25OHD in DBS with those in plasma. Design and Participants: Sixty two participants in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study who had plasma and matching DBS stored since study entry in the early 1990s were randomly selected for a study calibrating 25OHD concentrations in DBS with plasma. As part of a study of vitamin D and mortality, cancer and diabetes, we also assessed the reliability of measurements from DBS using 500 replicates placed randomly within 31 batches run over 15 months. Outcome measure: 25OHD concentrations measured by LC-MS/MS. Results: There was good agreement between measurements of 25OHD from DBS and plasma; R(2) = 0.73 from a regression of plasma concentration on DBS concentration. The within-batch and between-batch intra-class correlations from the 500 replicate measurements were 0.82 (95% CI: 0.80, 0.85) and 0.73 (95% CI: 0.68, 0.78), respectively. Conclusions: Measuring 25OHD in DBS is a valid and reliable alternative to measuring 25OHD in sera or plasma. A simple calibration model was developed to convert measurements from DBS to equivalent plasma measurements, thus enabling comparisons against clinical reference ranges and with studies using sera or plasma samples.
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism 06/2014; 99(9):jc20141269. DOI:10.1210/jc.2014-1269 · 6.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency has been proposed as a risk factor for schizophrenia. DVD-deficient rats show selective cognitive deficits and novelty-induced hyperlocomotion and enhanced locomotor responses from acute treatment with psychomimetic drugs, such as amphetamine and MK-801. Here we aimed to examine the effect of a drug from a different class of psychomimetic/psychoactive compounds, Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on tasks of relevance to the cognitive and positive symptoms of schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to investigate whether DVD deficiency modulates the behavioural effects of THC on tests of delay-dependent memory, sensorimotor gating and locomotion. Adult control and DVD-deficient rats were injected with THC (0, 0.3, 0.6, 1.25, 2.5 mg/kg) 15 min before a delay match to sample (DMTS) task using variable delays (0-24 s). A separate group of rats was injected with either 2.5 mg/kg THC or vehicle before tests of either prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response or in the open field. Control and DVD-deficient rats showed a similar dose-dependent impairment in performance on the DMTS. The greatest impairment was observed at 2.5 mg/kg for all delays (0-24 s). DVD-deficient rats showed THC-induced enhancement of PPI, which was not observed in control rats. There was no effect of maternal diet on acoustic startle response or locomotor responses in the open field. This study reports the novel findings that DVD-deficient rats were more sensitive to the acute effects of THC on PPI. It appears that prenatal vitamin D deficiency has long-term effects on sensitivity to the behavioural effects of cannabinoids.
    Behavioural pharmacology 06/2014; 25(3):236-44. DOI:10.1097/FBP.0000000000000041 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    D.W. Eyles, P.Y. Liu, P. Josh, X. Cui
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    ABSTRACT: Apart from its role in regulating calcium there is growing evidence that vitamin D is a neuroactive steroid capable of regulating multiple pathways important for both brain development and mature brain function. Vitamin D induces its genomic effects through its nuclear receptor the vitamin D receptor (VDR). Although there is abundant evidence for this receptor’s presence in the mammalian brain from studies employing immunohistochemistry, Western blot or quantitative RNA studies there remains some dispute regarding the validity of these studies. In this study we provide unambiguous confirmation for the VDR in adult rodent brain using proteomic techniques. However Western blot experiments show that compared to more classic target organs such as the gut and kidney, VDR expression is quantitatively lower in the brain. In addition we have examined VDR subcellular distribution in the gut, kidney and brain from both embryonic and adult tissues. We show that in all embryonic tissues VDR distribution is mostly nuclear, however by adulthood it appears that at least in the gut and kidney, VDR presence in the plasma membrane is more prominent perhaps reflecting some change in VDR function with the maturation of these tissues. Finally the subcellular distribution of VDR in the embryo did not appear to be altered by vitamin D deficiency indicating that perhaps there are other mechanisms at play in vivo to stabilize this receptor in the absence of its ligand.
    Neuroscience 05/2014; 268:1–9. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.02.042 · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    Darryl W. Eyles, Pei-Yun Liu, Peter Josh, Xiaoying Cui
    Neuroscience 03/2014; · 3.33 Impact Factor
  • 2014 Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society; 01/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Lower vitamin D status during gestation may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk later in life. No studies have assessed this hypothesis with a follow-up time reaching beyond childhood. The objective was to assess the link between season of birth, neonatal 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] status, and adult cardiovascular disease risk. Markers of cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk were measured in 284 subjects aged 35 y, born either at the end of the winter or at the end of the summer of 1975. In 275 of these 284 subjects, concentrations of neonatal 25(OH)D3 were measured in dried blood samples by using a highly sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy method. Subjects born after the winter had lower neonatal 25(OH)D3 concentrations than did those born after the summer (31.5 compared with 48.5 nmol/L; P < 0.001). In regression analyses adjusted for sex, season of birth, postnatal age at neonatal sample collection, preterm birth, maternal age, education, smoking, fish consumption per week, exercise per week, and current 25-hydroxyvitamin D, higher neonatal 25(OH)D3 (per 50 nmol/L) was associated with 25.8% (95% CI: 1.0%, 58.4%) higher fasting insulin in adult life, 29.6% (5.1%, 58.4%) higher triglycerides and with 4.64 (95% CI: 1.93, 7.36) mmol/L higher serum cholesterol in women. Neonatal 25(OH)D3 (per 1 nmol/L) was directly associated with risk of adult overweight (OR: 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.05) and with adult obesity in women (OR: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.17). Neonatal 25(OH)D3 was not associated with adult aortic pulse wave velocity, blood pressure, fasting glucose, HDL, LDL, or C-reactive protein. Season of birth was not associated with any of the adult outcomes. Higher neonatal 25(OH)D3 was associated with higher fasting insulin, triglyceride, and cholesterol (in women) concentrations and with a higher risk of overweight at 35 y of age but not with other adult cardiovascular disease risk factors.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 01/2014; 99(3). DOI:10.3945/ajcn.113.072520 · 6.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin D deficiency is common in the adult population, and this has been linked to depression and cognitive outcomes in clinical populations. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of adult vitamin D (AVD) deficiency on behavioural tasks of relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Ten-week old male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a control or vitamin D deficient diet for 6 weeks prior to, and during behavioural testing. We first examined a range of behavioural domains including locomotion, exploration, anxiety, social behaviour, learned helplessness, sensorimotor gating, and nociception. We then assessed locomotor response to the psychomimetic drugs, amphetamine and MK-801. Attention and vigilance were assessed using the 5 choice serial reaction time task (5C-SRT) and the 5 choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) and, in a separate cohort, working memory was assessed using the delay match to sample (DMTS) task. We also examined excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in prefrontal cortex and striatum. AVD-deficient rats were deficient in vitamin D3 (<10 nM) and had normal calcium and phosphate levels after 8-10 weeks on the diet. Overall, AVD deficiency was not associated with an altered phenotype across the range of behavioural domains tested. On the 5C-SRT AVD-deficient rats made more premature responses and more head entries during longer inter-trial intervals (ITI) than control rats. On the 5C-CPT AVD-deficient rats took longer to make false alarm (FA) responses than control rats. AVD-deficient rats had increases in baseline GABA levels and the ratio of DOPAC/HVA within the striatum. AVD-deficient rats exhibited no major impairments in any of the behavioural domains tested. Impairments in premature responses in AVD-deficient rats may indicate that these animals have specific alterations in striatal systems governing compulsive or reward-seeking behaviour.
    PLoS ONE 08/2013; 8(8):e71593. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0071593 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous group of disorders with unknown etiology. Although abnormalities in multiple neurotransmitter systems have been linked to schizophrenia, alterations in dopamine (DA) neurotransmission remain central to the treatment of this disorder. Given that schizophrenia is considered a neurodevelopmental disorder we have hypothesized that abnormal DA signaling in the adult patient may result from altered DA signaling during fetal brain development. Environmental and genetic risk factors can be modeled in rodents to allow for the investigation of early neurodevelopmental pathogenesis that may lead to clues into the etiology of schizophrenia. To address this we created an animal model of one such risk factor, developmental vitamin D (DVD) deficiency. DVD-deficient adult rats display an altered behavioral profile in response to DA releasing and blocking agents that are reminiscent of that seen in schizophrenia patients. Furthermore, developmental studies revealed that DVD deficiency also altered cell proliferation, apoptosis, and neurotransmission across the embryonic brain. In particular, DVD deficiency reduces the expression of crucial dopaminergic specification factors and alters DA metabolism in the developing brain. We speculate such alterations in fetal brain development may change the trajectory of DA neuron ontogeny to induce the behavioral abnormalities observed in adult offspring. The widespread evidence that both dopaminergic and structural changes are present in people who develop schizophrenia prior to onset also suggest that early alterations in development are central to the disease. Taken together, early alterations in DA ontogeny may represent a core feature in the pathology of schizophrenia. Such a mechanism could bring together evidence from multiple risk factors and genetic vulnerabilities to form a convergent pathway in disease pathophysiology.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 07/2013; 7:111. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2013.00111 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 03/2013; 97(5). DOI:10.3945/ajcn.113.061176 · 6.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During foetal development, calcium requirements are met as a consequence of maternal adaptations independent of vitamin D status. In contrast, after birth, dependency on vitamin D appears necessary for calcium metabolism and skeletal health. We used a rodent model (Sprague-Dawley rats), to determine if maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy had a deleterious effect on bone structure at birth. Vitamin D deplete females were maintained under deplete conditions until birth of the pups, whereupon all dams were fed a vitamin D replete diet. Offspring were harvested at birth, and 140 days of age. Bones were analyzed using micro-computed tomography and strength tested to study differences in bone structure, density and strength and subjected to elemental analysis using plasma mass spectrometry to determine strontium, barium and calcium contents. Offspring from deplete mothers displayed altered trabecular parameters in the femur at birth and 140 days of age. In addition, at 140 days of age there was evidence of premature mineralization of the secondary ossification centre of the femoral head. Elemental analysis showed increased strontium uptake in the femur of the developmentally vitamin D-deficient offspring. Vitamin D depletion during development in the offspring may have a long-lasting effect, despite repletion of vitamin D from birth. This may have consequences for human health given the low vitamin D levels seen during pregnancy and current lifestyle of sun avoidance due to the risk of skin cancer.
    Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 02/2013; 4(1-1):49-55. DOI:10.1017/S2040174412000542 · 0.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that vitamin D is a neuroactive steroid capable of regulating multiple pathways important for both brain development and mature brain function. In particular, there is evidence from rodent models that prenatal vitamin D deficiency alters the development of dopaminergic pathways and this disruption is associated with altered behavior and neurochemistry in the adult brain. Although the presence of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) has been noted in the human substantia nigra, there is a lack of direct evidence showing that VDR is present in dopaminergic cells. Here we confirm that the VDR is present in the nucleus of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in both the human and rat substantia nigra, and it emerges early in development in the rat, between embryonic day 12 (E12) and E15. Consistent evidence based on immunohistochemistry, real-time PCR and western blot confirmed a pattern of increasing VDR expression in the rat midbrain until weaning. The nuclear expression of VDR in TH-positive neurons during critical periods of brain development suggests that alterations in early life vitamin D status may influence the orderly development of dopaminergic neurons.
    Neuroscience 01/2013; 236:77–87. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.01.035 · 3.33 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

4k Citations
527.16 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1994–2015
    • University of Queensland
      • • Queensland Brain Institute
      • • School of Biomedical Sciences
      • • Department of Medicine
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2012
    • University of Newcastle
      • School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
      Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • 2003
    • Mental Health Council of Australia
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    • Schizophrenia Research Institute
      Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
    • Griffith University
      Southport, Queensland, Australia
  • 1996
    • St. Marianna University School of Medicine
      Kawasaki Si, Kanagawa, Japan
  • 1992–1996
    • Royal Brisbane Hospital
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    • Princess Alexandra Hospital (Queensland Health)
      • Division of Medicine
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia