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Ultraviolet Radiation Suppresses Obesity and Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome Independently of Vitamin D in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet

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Abstract

The role of vitamin D in curtailing the development of obesity and comorbidities such as the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and type 2 diabetes has received much attention recently. However, clinical trials have failed to conclusively demonstrate the benefits of vitamin D supplementation. In most studies, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] decreases with increasing BMI above normal weight. These low 25(OH)D levels may also be a proxy for reduced exposure to sunlight-derived ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Here we investigate whether UVR and/or vitamin D supplementation modifies the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes in a murine model of obesity. Long-term suberythemal and erythemal UVR significantly suppressed weight gain, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease measures; and serum levels of fasting insulin, glucose, and cholesterol in C57BL/6 male mice fed a high-fat diet. However, many of the benefits of UVR were not reproduced by vitamin D supplementation. In further mechanistic studies, skin induction of the UVR-induced mediator nitric oxide (NO) reproduced many of the effects of UVR. These studies suggest that UVR (sunlight exposure) may be an effective means of suppressing the development of obesity and MetS, through mechanisms that are independent of vitamin D but dependent on other UVR-induced mediators such as NO.
Sian Geldenhuys,
1
Prue H. Hart,
1
Raelene Endersby,
1
Peter Jacoby,
1
Martin Feelisch,
2
Richard B. Weller,
3
Vance Matthews,
4
and Shelley Gorman
1
Ultraviolet Radiation
Suppresses Obesity and
Symptoms of Metabolic
Syndrome Independently
of Vitamin D in Mice Fed a
High-Fat Diet
Diabetes 2014;63:37593769 | DOI: 10.2337/db13-1675
The role of vitamin D in curtailing the development of obe-
sity and comorbidities such as the metabolic syndrome
(MetS) and type 2 diabetes has received much attention
recently. However, clinical trials have failed to conclu-
sively demonstrate the benets of vitamin D supple-
mentation. In most studies, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D
[25(OH)D] decreases with increasing BMI above nor-
mal weight. These low 25(OH)D levels may also be
a proxy for reduced exposure to sunlight-derived ultra-
violet radiation (UVR). Here we investigate whether UVR
and/or vitamin D supplementation modies the devel-
opment of obesity and type 2 diabetes in a murine model
of obesity. Long-term suberythemal and erythemal UVR
signicantly suppressed weight gain, glucose intoler-
ance, insulin resistance, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
measures; and serum levels of fasting insulin, glucose,
and cholesterol in C57BL/6 male mice fed a high-fat
diet. However, many of the benets of UVR were not
reproduced by vitamin D supplementation. In further
mechanistic studies, skin induction of the UVR-induced
mediator nitric oxide (NO) reproduced many of the
effects of UVR. These studies suggest that UVR (sun-
light exposure) may be an effective means of suppress-
ing the development of obesity and MetS, through
mechanisms that are independent of vitamin D but
dependent on other UVR-induced mediators such as NO.
Obesity has signicant effects on our health and well-
being: obese people have increased comorbidities resulting
from cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and
colon cancers, dementia, and depression. Vitamin D de-
ciency is recognized as a health problem affecting many
individuals worldwide (1) and may contribute to the devel-
opment of obesity. Insufcient levels of vitamin D are as-
sociated with obesity, and obese people are more likely than
others to be vitamin D decient (reviewed in Earthman
et al. [2] and Autier et al. [3]). Vitamin D is synthesized
from dermal 7-dehydrocholesterol after cutaneous ex-
posure to the ultraviolet radiation (UVR) of sunlight.
Vitamin D is transported to the liver bound to the vita-
min Dbinding protein for conversion into the storage
form 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], before further
conversion into the active form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D
[1,25(OH)
2
D] in the kidneys. Many cells in other tissues
express the enzymatic machinery required to convert 25
(OH)D into active 1,25(OH)
2
D (2).
1
Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western
Australia, Australia
2
Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of South-
ampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, U.K.
3
University of Edinburgh, MRC Centre for Inammation Research, Edinburgh,
Scotland
4
Laboratory for Metabolic Dysfunction, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research,
Centre for Medical Research, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western
Australia, Australia
Corresponding author: Shelley Gorman, shelley.gorman@telethonkids.org.au.
Received 30 October 2013 and accepted 27 May 2014.
This article contains Supplementary Data online at http://diabetes
.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.2337/db13-1675/-/DC1.
© 2014 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as
long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for prot, and
the work is not altered.
Diabetes Volume 63, November 2014 3759
OBESITY STUDIES
It is not known whether vitamin D deciency is a causal
pathway for the development of obesity and the metabolic
syndrome (MetS). Serum 25(OH)D levels generally de-
crease with increasing BMI above normal weight (4), and
results from a genetic association study (5) suggest that
a higher BMI leads to reduced circulating 25(OH)D levels.
Furthermore, randomized controlled trials that test the
efcacy of vitamin D supplementation for weight loss (2)
or for curbing MetS-related diseases like type 2 diabetes
and cardiovascular disease (3,6,7) have had little success.
Even so, there is currently much interest in vitamin D
supplementation as a clinical means of controlling obesity
and MetS, with .100 clinical trials underway assessing
vitamin D supplementation (ClinicalTrials.gov).
Increased storage of fat-soluble vitamin D in obese
individuals may reduce circulating 25(OH)D levels (8). Also,
obese people exercise less and spend less time in the sun
(9). Our increasingly indoorlifestyles, coupled with con-
cerns about rising skin cancer rates for light-skinned pop-
ulations, have resulted in concomitant decreases in sun
exposure (10) and increased prevalence of vitamin D de-
ciency (11) worldwide, including countries like Australia,
which experiences some of the highest obesity rates in the
world. Long-term sunlight exposure (particularly suberythe-
mal UVR) itself may be benecial for obesity and MetS
outcomes like type 2 diabetes (12) and nonalcoholic fatty
liver disease (NAFLD) (13).
In this article, we present data further dening the role
of sunlight-induced vitamin D in modulating the de-
velopment of obesity and aberrant metabolic outputs,
including glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and
NAFLD. We directly compared the abilities of long-term
UVR and/or dietary vitamin D to alter the development of
obesity using a physiologically relevant model induced by
feeding a high-fat diet to C57BL/6 male mice. Our
previous studies have shown that long-term UVR expo-
sure does not modify serum 25(OH)D levels in male mice
(14), allowing us to investigate the ability of UVR to modu-
late obesity and MetS independent of circulating 25(OH)D
levels. Here, long-term UVR exposure but not dietary vi-
tamin D suppressed weight gain and various measures of
MetS (circulating cholesterol levels, glucose intolerance,
and insulin resistance). Further, while vitamin D supple-
mentation did improve NAFLD, UVR suppressed its de-
velopment even more effectively. Vitamin D supplementation
suppressed circulating tumor necrosis factor-a(TNF-a)
levels, identifying a possible mechanism for the control
of NAFLD. In further mechanistic studies, UVR-induced
nitric oxide (NO) signicantly suppressed some measures
of obesity and MetS development, including weight, white
adipose tissue (WAT) accumulation, fasting glucose level,
the development of insulin resistance, and NAFLD. These
studies suggest that while vitamin D supplementation
may be useful for preventing NAFLD development, sun-
light exposure may be more effective, and have the added
benets of suppressing obesity and MetS through NO-
dependent pathways.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Mice
All experiments were performed according to the ethical
guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research
Council of Australia and with approval from the Telethon
Institute for Child Health Research Animal Ethics Com-
mittee. C57BL/6 male mice were purchased from the
Animal Resources Centre (Murdoch, Western Australia,
Australia). The temperature and lighting were controlled,
with a normal 12-h light/dark cycle to mimic day and
night. Mice were housed under Perspex-ltered uorescent
lighting, which emitted no detectable UVR B as measured
using an ultraviolet (UV) radiometer (UVX Digital Radio-
meter; Ultraviolet Products Inc., Upland, CA). Mice were
allowedaccesstofoodandacidied water ad libitum.
Diet
All diets were obtained from Specialty Feeds (Glen Forrest,
Western Australia, Australia) and included two semipure
low-fat diets (5% fat; canola oil), which were supplemented
with vitamin D
3
(2,280 or 0 IU vitamin D
3
/kg) (LF-D
+
)or
not (LF-D
2
) and two high-fat diets (23%; lard [20.7%] and
canola oil [2.9%]) that were supplemented with vitamin D
3
(2,280 or 0 IU vitamin D
3
/kg) (HF-D
+
)orwerenot(HF-D
2
).
Mice that started on a vitamin D
3
supplemented diet were
continued on diets supplemented with vitamin D
3
through-
out. The LF-D
2
and HF-D
2
were also supplemented with
2% calcium (vs. 1% for the LF-D
+
and HF-D
+
)toensure
normocalcemia.
UVR and Topical Skin Treatments
A bank of six 40-W lamps (TL UV-B; Philips, Eindhoven,
the Netherlands) emitting broadband UVR (250360 nm),
with 65% of the output in the UVB range (280315 nm),
was used to irradiate mice to deliver suberythemal (1 kJ/m
2
)
(15) or erythemal (4 or 8 kJ/m
2
) UVR onto a clean-shaven
8-cm
2
dorsal skin area, as previously described (16). Al-
ternatively, skin was treated with 0.1 mmoles S-nitroso-N-
acetylpenicillamine (SNAP; Sigma-Aldrich) (17), a NO
donor. In other treatments, a NO scavenger, carboxy-PTIO
potassium salt (cPTIO; 0.1 mmoles; Sigma-Aldrich) (18), or
1,25(OH)
2
D (11.4 pmol/cm
2
; Sigma-Aldrich) (19) were
applied immediately after delivery of suberythemal UVR
(1 kJ/m
2
). This dose of 1,25(OH)
2
D was previously reported
to not induce hypercalcemia (19). All topical reagents were
diluted with a vehicle consisting of ethanol, propylene glycol,
and water (2:1:1) (20). All topical treatments were per-
formed in the morning.
Measuring Weight Gain
Mice were weighed weekly on the same day in the
morning using a digital scale (.0.1 g sensitivity; Scout;
Ohaus). The percentage weight gain was calculated from
8 weeks of age.
Glucose and Insulin Tolerance Tests
Mice were fasted for 5 h and then intraperitoneally
challenged with either 1 g/kg glucose (Phebra, Lane Cove,
New South Wales, Australia), for glucose tolerance tests
3760 UV Inhibits Obesity Independently of Vitamin D Diabetes Volume 63, November 2014
(GTTs), or 0.50.75 IU/kg insulin (Lilly, Indianapolis, IN),
for insulin tolerance tests (ITTs). Glucose levels were
recorded at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, and 90 min postinjection
using the Accu-Chek Performa glucometer (Roche).
Serum Metabolites
Serum 25(OH)D levels were measured using IDS EIA kits
(Immunodiagnostic Systems Ltd., Fountain Hills, AZ) as
described by the manufacturer (limit of detection 57
nmol/L; coefcient of variation 0.08 for internal controls).
For conrmation, 25(OH)D levels in selected samples were
measured using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spec-
trometry method (21), which signicantly correlated with
immunoassay 25(OH)D levels (n=8;r= 0.99, P#
0.0001). Serum calcium, cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL
cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were measured by standard
colorimetric reactions using the Architect c16000 Analyzer
(AbbottDiagnostics,AbbottPark,IL).Glucose,insulin,adipo-
nectin, and leptin levels were measured in serum after fasting
mice for 5 h. Fasting glucose level was measured using the
Accu-Chek Performa glucometer (Roche, Castle Hill, New
South Wales, Australia). Fasting insulin, adiponectin, and lep-
tin levels were measured using rat/mouse insulin, mouse adi-
ponectin, and mouse leptin ELISA kits, respectively, as
described by the manufacturer (EMD Millipore Corporation,
Billerica, MA). Serum interleukin (IL)-6, TNF-a,andIL-10
concentrations were measured in serum using ELISA as pre-
viously described (15,22) with antibody pairs supplied by
Figure 1The experimental approach. The 4-week-old C57BL/6
male mice were fed a low-fat diet (either LF-D
+
or LF-D
2
) for 4
weeks. At 8 weeks of age, mice were either continued on these
diets or switched to an HF-D
+
or an HF-D
2
. At the same time,
each dietary group was further divided into three treatment groups
of mice that received long-term irradiation with suberythemal UVR
(1 kJ/m
2
twice a week [biweekly]), erythemal UVR (4 kJ/m
2
once
a fortnight [fortnightly]), or no UVR. Mice were fed these diets and
irradiated with these UVR regimens for a further 12 weeks until mice
were 20 weeks of age. There were a total of 12 treatments, with 18
mice per treatment. The experiment was performed two times.
Figure 2The effects of long-term skin exposure to UVR, dietary
vitamin D, and a high-fat diet on serum 25(OH)D levels. A: The 4-
week-old C57BL/6 male mice were fed a low-fat diet (either LF-D
+
or LF-D
2
) for 4 weeks. BD: At 8 weeks of age (week 0), mice were
either continued on these diets or switched to an HF-D
+
or an
HF-D
2
. At the same time, each dietary group was further divided
into three treatment groups of mice that received long-term irradi-
ation with no UVR (B), suberythemal UVR (1 kJ/m
2
twice a week)
(C), or erythemal UVR (4 kJ/m
2
once a fortnight) (D) for a further
12 weeks. In BD, serum 25(OH)D levels are depicted for mice that
underwent these UVR/dietary interventions for 12 weeks. Data are
shown as the mean 6SEM for n=49 mice at each time, pooled
from two independent experiments (*P<0.05).
diabetes.diabetesjournals.org Geldenhuys and Associates 3761
BD Biosciences (Franklin Lakes, NJ). The levels of detec-
tion for the IL-6, TNF-a, and IL-10 assays were 12, 3, and
14 pg/mL, respectively. Serum nitrite and nitrate levels
were measured as previously described (23).
Histopathological Assessment of Liver Pathology
The severity of NAFLD was assessed by grading formalin-
xed and hematoxylin-eosinstained liver sections. Steato-
sis and hepatocellular ballooning were scored using a scoring
system based on the nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
scoring system (24). A separate score was given for stea-
tosis (03) and hepatocellular ballooning (03). These
scores were added together for an overall score (#6).
Measurement of Skin NO Levels
Formation of NO in the skin was measured by a non-
invasive in vivo assay using the substrate DAF-2 (applied
in the form of the membrane-permeable precursor 4,5-
diaminouorescein diacetate [DAF-2DA]; Millipore [cleaved
by intracellular esterases to generate DAF-2, which then
chemically reacts with NO to form the highly uorescent
compound DAF-2T) (25). DAF-2DA [1 mmole in an etha-
nol, propylene glycol, and water (2:1:1) vehicle (20)] was
applied to shaved dorsal skin for absorption for 1 h prior
to skin treatment with UVR and/or the topical reagent.
Serial images of skin uorescence (excitation at 488 nm,
emission at 515 nm) were taken every 5 min over 20 min
using the IVIS Spectrum Bioimager (PerkinElmer).
Statistical Analyses
Area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for GTT and
ITT using GraphPad Prism (version 5) using 0 as the
baseline. Student ttests and ANOVA were used to com-
pare treatments with Tukey post hoc analyses. Because of
a signicantly greater variance in weight gain among high-
fat dietfed mice, the effects of vitamin D intake and UVR
treatment (and their interaction) on weight gain were
analyzed separately from the low-fat dietfed mice using
SPSS (version 21.0.0). Results were considered to be sta-
tistically signicant for Pvalues ,0.05.
RESULTS
Tracking the Effects of Long-term UVR Exposure and
Dietary Fat on Serum 25(OH)D
To conrm our previous ndings that UVR does not
modify serum 25(OH)D levels in male mice (14), vitamin
Ddecient male or female C57BL/6 mice were exposed to
a single erythemal dose (4 or 8 kJ/m
2
) of UVR, and serum
25(OH)D levels were tracked over 17 days. Serum 25(OH)D
levels were raised in a dose-related fashion by skin ex-
posure to erythemal UVR in female but not male mice
Figure 3Long-term UVR exposure suppressed weight gain in
mice fed high-fat or low-fat diets not supplemented with vitamin
D (VitD). The 4-week-old C57BL/6 male mice were fed a low-fat
diet (either LF-D
+
or LF-D
2
) for 4 weeks. Aand B: At 8 weeks of
age (week 0), mice were either continued on these diets or switched
to an HF-D
+
or an HF-D
2
. At the same time, each dietary group was
further divided into three treatment groups of mice that received
long-term irradiation with no UVR, suberythemal UVR (1 kJ/m
2
twice a week), or erythemal UVR (4 kJ/m
2
once a fortnight). The
percentage weight gain is shown for mice that underwent these
UVR/dietary interventions for 12 weeks (until 20 weeks of age) for
mice fed a high-fat diet (A) or a low-fat diet (B). Data are shown as
the mean 6SEM for n= 18 mice/treatment from a representative of
two independent experiments. C: Total weight gain after 12 weeks
of these UVR/dietary interventions (at 20 weeks of age) is shown for
all treatments (mean 6SEM). D: After 12 weeks of these UVR/dietary
interventions (at 20 weeks of age) gonadal fat-pad (n= 18/treatment)
weights were measured. Data are representative of two independent
experiments (mean + SEM). *P<0.05.
3762 UV Inhibits Obesity Independently of Vitamin D Diabetes Volume 63, November 2014
(Supplementary Fig. 1). To determine the relative roles of
dietary vitamin D and/or UVR-induced vitamin D in the
regulation of obesity and related cardiometabolic disease
outcomes, we performed the following experiment using
C57BL/6 mice (Fig. 1). Male mice were fed a vitamin D
supplemented or nonsupplemented (low-fat) diet from 4
to 8 weeks of age to establish vitamin D sufciency or
deciency (Fig. 2A). From 8 weeks of age, mice were con-
tinued on the supplemented or nonsupplemented diets,
but some were switched to a diet that was high in fat.
Each of these four dietary treatments were further di-
vided into three treatments, with the shaved skin of
mice exposed to long-term irradiation with no UVR,
suberythemal UVR (1 kJ/m
2
twice a week) or erythemal
UVR (4 kJ/m
2
once a fortnight), as indicated in Fig. 1.
Mice were treated from 8 to 20 weeks of age with these
UVR and dietary interventions. A high-fat diet signi-
cantly increased serum 25(OH)D levels in mice fed diets
not specically supplemented with vitamin D (HF-D
2
,
LF-D
2
) (Fig. 2B). Mice fed either diet that was further
supplemented with vitamin D (HF-D
+
, LF-D
+
) had signif-
icantly higher serum 25(OH)D levels than those mice fed
a diet that was not supplemented with vitamin D (Fig. 2B).
There was no additive effect of a high-fat diet and vitamin D
supplementation on serum 25(OH)D level (Fig. 2B). Al-
though not observed in our preliminary (Supplementary
Table 1AUC values for GTTs and ITTs, and fasting glucose, insulin, leptin, and adiponectin levels measured 911 weeks after
UVR/dietary intervention
Treatment Diet
UVR
(kJ/m
2
)
GTT (AUC,
% basal
glucose)
ITT (AUC,
% basal
glucose)
Fasting
glucose
(mmol/L)
Fasting
insulin
(ng/mL)
Fasting
leptin
(ng/mL)
Fasting
adiponectin
(ng/mL)
1 HF-D
+
0 2,190 683 1,200 663 9.8 60.5 8.2 63.5 36.7 63.0 10.4 60.3
2 HF-D
+
1 1,770 649* 1,060 646 8.8 60.4 7.1 60.4 29.8 65.7 11.9 61.8
3 HF-D
+
4 1,880 6180 1,370 634 10.2 60.4 3.6 61.1 19.7 67.3 15.8 63.9
4 LF-D
+
0 1,470 667 800 638 7.9 60.3 1.0 60.4 1.5 60.6 12.9 62.8
5 LF-D
+
1 1,510 665 760 637 8.0 60.4 4.9 62.8 2.6 61.1 8.8 62.5
6 LF-D
+
4 1,390 656 770 679 7.8 60.4 1.8 61.0 2.2 60.7 11.9 61.0
7 HF-D
2
0 2,120 6130 1,230 615 9.8 60.3 11.1 61.9 29.8 63.5 13.0 62.6
8 HF-D
2
1 1,760 6651,050 6438.7 60.33.8 61.132.6 65.6 11.3 60.9
9 HF-D
2
4 1,690 673960 6728.1 60.43.9 62.814.0 65.313.0 61.1
10 LF-D
2
0 1,260 651 680 648 6.3 60.2 3.4 61.6 5.9 62.5 16.6 66.2
11 LF-D
2
1 1,280 6102 600 627 6.0 60.2 1.6 61.1 1.0 60.5 10.8 60.6
12 LF-D
2
4 1,480 636 760 660 7.7 60.4 4.3 61.8 1.9 60.2 11.7 61.9
Data are the mean 6SEM; n=48 mice/treatment. *P,0.05 vs. no UVR and HF-D
+
with data representative of two experiments.
P,0.05 relative to no UVR and HF-D
2
with data representative of two experiments.
Table 2Circulating triglyceride and cholesterol levels at 12 weeks after dietary and UVR interventions
Treatment Diet
UVR
(kJ/m
2
)
Triglycerides
(mmol/L)
HDL cholesterol
(mmol/L)
LDL cholesterol
(mmol/L)
Total cholesterol
(mmol/L)
1 HF-D
+
0 0.7 60.1 2.1 60.2 0.3 60.0 4.2 60.4
2 HF-D
+
1 0.6 60.0 2.0 60.2 0.2 60.0 3.8 60.4
3 HF-D
+
4 0.8 60.1 2.1 60.1 0.2 60.0 4.3 60.2
4 LF-D
+
0 1.0 60.1 1.5 60.1 0.2 60.0 2.5 60.2
5 LF-D
+
1 1.2 60.1 1.8 60.1 0.2 60.0 2.9 60.1
6 LF-D
+
4 1.1 60.3 1.3 60.2 0.1 60.0 2.2 60.3
7 HF-D
2
0 0.9 60.1 2.1 60.1 0.4 60.0 4.3 60.1
8 HF-D
2
1 0.6 60.0 2.1 60.0 0.3 60.0 4.2 60.2
9 HF-D
2
4 0.9 60.1 1.5 60.2* 0.2 60.0* 2.6 60.3*
10 LF-D
2
0 1.2 60.1 1.6 60.3 0.1 60.0 2.4 60.4
11 LF-D
2
1 0.9 60.1 1.4 60.1 0.1 60.0 2.0 60.1
12 LF-D
2
4 1.1 60.1 1.5 60.1 0.1 60.0 2.3 60.1
n= 4 mice/treatment. *P,0.05 relative to no UVR and HF-D
2
with data representative of two experiments.
diabetes.diabetesjournals.org Geldenhuys and Associates 3763
Fig. 1) and past investigations (14), long-term suberythe-
mal (Fig. 2C) or erythemal (Fig. 2D) UVR exposure signif-
icantly (but transiently) enhanced serum 25(OH)D levels,
when administered to mice fed an LF-D
+
(but not HF-D
+
,
LF-D
2
, or HF-D
2
) (Supplementary Fig. 2). The effects
were more pronounced for mice administered the long-
term erythemal UVR, but returned to baseline levels after
6 weeks of UVR/dietary intervention (Fig. 2Dand Supple-
mentary Fig. 2B).
Long-term UVR Exposure Suppressed Weight Gain in
Mice Fed a Vitamin DNonsupplemented Diet
There was no effect of vitamin D supplementation on
weight gain (Fig. 3Aand B). Both long-term suberythemal
UVR (1 kJ/m
2
twice a week) and erythemal UVR (4 kJ/m
2
once a fortnight) treatment suppressed weight gain in mice
fed the HF-D
2
(Fig. 3A)by$40%. Long-term erythemal
UVR exposure also suppressed weight gain in mice fed the
LF-D
2
(Fig. 3B). The effects of long-term skin exposure
to UVR were less apparent for mice fed the vitamin
Dsupplemented diet, where UVR exposure suppressed
weight gain in a transient fashion in mice fed the HF-D
+
(Supplementary Fig. 3A). At the end of the UVR/dietary
intervention period (12 weeks), gonadal fat-pad weights
were not affected by dietary vitamin D supplementation
but were signicantly suppressed in mice irradiated with
UVR and fed the HF-D
2
(Fig. 3D).
Long-term UVR Exposure Suppressed Glucose
Intolerance and Insulin Resistance in Mice Fed
a Vitamin DNonsupplemented Diet
After 10 and 11 weeks of UVR/dietary intervention, GTTs
and ITTs were performed (Table 1). Mice fed the high-fat
diets developed glucose intolerance (Supplementary Fig.
3B) and insulin resistance (Supplementary Fig. 3C), with
no suppressive effect of vitamin D supplementation (Sup-
plementary Fig. 3Band C; Table 1 for AUC). Both mea-
sures were suppressed in mice receiving long-term irradiation
with UVR (either suberythemal or erythemal) and fed the
HF-D
2
(Table 1). Glucose intolerance was signicantly
suppressed by long-term suberythemal UVR in mice fed
the HF-D
+
only (Table 1). In addition, fasting glucose and
insulin levels were also reduced by UVR treatment in
mice fed the HF-D
2
, with fasting leptin levels also sup-
pressed in mice that received long-term irradiation with
erythemal UVR (Table 1). There were no effects of long-
term UVR (or dietary vitamin D) on fasting adiponectin
levels (Table 1).
Long-term Erythemal UVR Exposure Suppressed
Circulating Cholesterol Levels in Mice Fed a High-Fat
Diet Not Supplemented With Vitamin D
After 12 weeks of UVR/dietary intervention, circulating
levels of triglycerides and cholesterol (HDL, LDL, and
total) were measured (Table 2). Triglyceride levels were
Figure 4Long-term UVR signicantly reduced the extent of liver steatosis and lobular ballooning in mice fed a high-fat diet. The 4-week-
old C57BL/6 male mice were fed a low-fat diet (either LF-D
+
or LF-D
2
) for 4 weeks. At 8 weeks of age, mice were either continued on these
diets or switched to an HF-D
+
or an HF-D
2
. At the same time, each dietary group was further divided into three treatment groups of mice
that received long-term irradiation with no UVR (A,D,G, and J), suberythemal UVR (1 kJ/m
2
twice a week; B,E,H,K), or erythemal UVR
(4 kJ/m
2
once a fortnight; C,F,I, and L). After 12 weeks of these UVR/dietary interventions (at 20 weeks of age), the extent of liver
histopathology was measured in liver specimens (n= 10/treatment for data pooled from two independent experiments). AL: Represen-
tative hematoxylin-eosinstained sections of liver for each treatment (Band C, original magnication 320 [equivalent to 150 mm]).
Examples of liver steatosis (blue arrow) and lobular ballooning (red arrow) are shown in G.
3764 UV Inhibits Obesity Independently of Vitamin D Diabetes Volume 63, November 2014
not modied by vitamin D supplementation or long-term
UVR (Table 2). HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol levels
were suppressed in mice fed the HF-D
2
and also receiving
long-term irradiation with erythemal UVR (Table 2).
Long-term UVR Exposure More Effectively Suppressed
the Development of NAFLD Than Vitamin D
Supplementation
The development of markers of NAFLD was measured by
analyzing the degree of liver steatosis and lobular
ballooning after 12 weeks of UVR/dietary intervention
(Figs. 4 and 5A). Long-term skin exposure to UVR sub-
stantially suppressed liver histopathology in mice fed the
high-fat diets (Fig. 4AC, HF-D
+
; Fig. 4GI, HF-D
2
; Fig.
5A) to a greater degree than that achieved by dietary
vitamin D supplementation alone (Fig. 4A, HF-D
+
; Fig.
4G,HF-D
2
; Fig. 5A). Vitamin D supplementation had
no effect on liver weight, whereas long-term erythemal
UVR suppressed liver weight in mice fed the HF-D
2
(Fig. 5B).
Vitamin D Supplementation Prevented the Suppressive
Effects of UVR Upon Weight Gain and Markers of MetS
The results presented above suggest that many of the
effects of UVR were more prominent in mice not further
supplemented with vitamin D. We used a general linear
model to assess whether there may be interactions within
the high-fat diet treatments, such that dietary vitamin D
may have inhibited the suppressive ability of UVR.
Signicant interactions between dietary vitamin D and
long-term UVR exposure were detected for weight gain
(Fig. 3C)(P= 0.05), gonadal fat-pad weights (Fig. 3D)(P=
0.03), and fasting glucose levels (Table 1) (P= 0.01), but
not the other measures, including liver histopathology
(Figs. 4 and 5A)(P.0.05).
Serum Vitamin D or Calcium Levels Were Not Related
to Weight Loss or Suppression of MetS in UVR-
Irradiated Mice
Long-term UVR exposure suppressed aspects of weight
gain and measures of MetS, independently of changes to
circulating 25(OH)D levels (Fig. 2 and Supplementary Fig.
2). Therefore, it is unlikely that the mechanism through
which UVR acted was dependent on vitamin D. As calcium
levels can be modied by vitamin D and have been asso-
ciated with weight loss (26), we also assessed circulating
calcium levels after 12 weeks of UVR/dietary intervention,
but observed no signicant effects of dietary vitamin D or
long-term skin exposure to UVR in mice fed the high-fat
diets (Fig. 5C). Long-term skin exposure to UVR reduced
calcium levels in mice fed a low-fat diet (Fig. 5C).
Figure 5Long-term UVR exposure signicantly reduced the ex-
tent of liver histopathology in mice fed a high-fat diet. The 4-week-
old C57BL/6 male mice were fed a low-fat diet (either LF-D
+
or
LF-D
2
) for 4 weeks. At 8 weeks of age, mice were either continued
on these diets or switched to an HF-D
+
or HF-D
2
. At the same
time, each dietary group was further divided into three treatment
groups of mice that received long-term irradiation with no UVR,
suberythemal UVR (1 kJ/m
2
twice a week), or erythemal UVR
(4 kJ/m
2
once a fortnight). After 12 weeks of these UVR/dietary
interventions (at 20 weeks of age), the extent of liver histopathology
(n= 10/treatment for data pooled from two independent experi-
ments) (A), liver weights (n= 18/treatment for data from a repre-
sentative experiment) (B), and serum levels of calcium (n=48/
treatment for data pooled from two independent experiments) (C)
and TNF-a(n=1218/treatment for data pooled from two in-
dependent experiments) (D) are shown. Data are shown as the
mean 6SEM. *P<0.05. VitD, vitamin D.
diabetes.diabetesjournals.org Geldenhuys and Associates 3765
Figure 6The UVR-induced mediator NO may regulate body weight, WAT accumulation, glucose metabolism, and the development of
NAFLD in mice fed a high-fat diet. Aand B: Using the DAF-2DA substrate, skin NO levels are shown for adult C57BL/6 male mice fed a low-
fat diet (LF-D
2
), 5 min after skin treatment with vehicle, 1 kJ/m
2
UVR, or the NO donor SNAP, with a quantitative measure (in photons per
second) (A) and representative skin uorescence (B) shown. The 4-week-old C57BL/6 male mice were fed an LF-D
2
for 4 weeks. At 8
weeks of age, mice were either continued on these diets or switched to the HF-D
2
. Within the HF-D
2
treatments, mice were further divided
into ve treatment groups. The shaved dorsal skin of these mice 1) was treated with vehicle only, 2) received long-term irradiation with
suberythemal UVR (1 kJ/m
2
twice a week) and then vehicle, 3) was topically treated with SNAP, 4) received long-term irradiation with
3766 UV Inhibits Obesity Independently of Vitamin D Diabetes Volume 63, November 2014
Circulating TNF-aLevel Was Linked With Improved
Markers of NAFLD in the Absence of Dietary Vitamin D
Supplementation But Not Skin Exposure to UVR
The ability of phototherapy to suppress the development of
NAFLD has been associated with reduced expression of TNF-a
(13). However, long-term UVR did not modify serum TNF-a
levels after 12 weeks of UVR/dietary intervention in mice fed
a high-fat diet (Fig. 5D). Vitamin D supplementation reduced
circulating TNF-alevels in mice fed an HF-D
+
when compared
with those fed an HF-D
2
(Fig. 5D). Serum levels of IL-6 and
IL-10 were below the level of detection of the ELISA.
UV-Induced NO Suppresses the Development of
Obesity and Symptoms of MetS
A role for NO, an alternate (nonvitamin D) mediator
induced by UVR, was examined. Skin levels of NO in-
creased from as early as 5 min after UVR/SNAP (Fig. 6A
and B) treatment as determined using DAF-2. To examine
a role for UVR-induced NO in modulating obesity and
MetS symptoms, 4-week-old C57BL/6 male mice were
fed an LF-D
2
for 4 weeks. From 8 weeks of age, mice
were either continued on this diet or switched to the
HF-D
2
, with mice fed an HF-D
2
further divided into
groups receiving the following ve dorsal skin treatments:
1) vehicle only; 2) suberythemal UVR (1 kJ/m
2
) and then
vehicle; 3) SNAP; 4) suberythemal UVR and then cPTIO;
or 5) suberythemal UVR and then 1,25(OH)
2
D. This nal
treatment was selected to test whether active 1,25(OH)
2
D
could prevent the suppressive effects of UVR on obesity
and MetS development (like dietary vitamin D in Supple-
mentary Fig. 3A) through inhibition of skin-induced NO.
Indeed, vitamin D may repair UV-induced DNA damage in
skin by suppressing NO (27).
After 12 weeks of feeding mice the HF-D
2
, skin NO
levels were assessed 10 min after a nal treatment with
one of the ve topical treatments detailed above. Skin NO
levels increased with UVR or SNAP (Fig. 6C). The NO
scavenger cPTIO reduced levels of NO in skin after UVR
treatment, but, unexpectedly, 1,25(OH)
2
D did not. Serum
nitrite/nitrate concentrations, measured 20 min after the
nal skin treatment, were not altered by treatment with
long-term low-dose UVR or SNAP (data not shown). Long-
term UVR suppressed weight gain and the accumulation
of WAT after 12 weeks of the HF-D
2
(Fig. 6D). Long-term
SNAP treatment also effectively suppressed mouse weights
(although not weight gain) and WAT accumulation (Fig. 6D).
However, neither the NO scavenger cPTIO nor 1,25(OH)
2
D
reversed the suppressive effects of UVR on weight gain
or WAT accumulation. Indeed, the UVR and 1,25(OH)
2
D
treatment was more effective than UVR treatment alone,
but this observation may reect the hypercalcemia observed
early on with topical 1,25(OH)
2
Dtreatment(4weekspost-
UVR [2.4 60.03 mmol/L] vs. post-UVR+1,25(OH)
2
D
[3.5 60.07]; *P,0.001 for serum calcium). In response
to these observations, we halved the dose of 1,25(OH)
2
Dad-
ministered, and mice were treated only once per week after 4
weeks of intervention. Despite this change, 1,25(OH)
2
D-
treated mice were still modestly hypercalcemic at the end
of the experiment (12 weeks post-UVR [2.4 60.03] vs.
post-UVR+1,25(OH)
2
D[2.760.07]; *P,0.001 for serum
calcium).
As observed previously, long-term UVR exposure sup-
pressed fasting glucose and insulin levels, and the de-
velopment of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance
(Fig. 6Eand F). Here, long-term SNAP treatment also
suppressed the development of insulin resistance (Fig.
6F). Furthermore, cPTIO treatment after UVR reversed
the suppressive effects of UVR alone upon fasting glucose
levels (Fig. 6E). Finally, both long-term UVR and SNAP
treatment suppressed the development of NAFLD, while
cPTIO reversed the effects of UVR upon liver histopathol-
ogy (Fig. 6G). Cumulatively, these data suggest that UVR-
induced NO may play an important role in modulating the
development of obesity and MetS through effects on
weight, WAT accumulation, fasting glucose level, and
the development of insulin resistance and NAFLD.
DISCUSSION
Here we present evidence that long-term skin exposure to
low-dose (suberythemal) and high-dose (erythemal) UVR
suppresses the development of obesity and measures of
MetS in mice fed a high-fat diet. Vitamin D supplemen-
tation alone did not reproduce these effects. In addition,
the suppressive effects of UVR on obesity and MetS
development were not observed to the same degree in
mice that were further supplemented with vitamin D (i.e.,
HF-D
+
). For mice fed a high-fat diet, serum 25(OH)D
levels were not enhanced by long-term UVR exposure,
suggesting that any effects induced by UVR in these
mice were independent of circulating 25(OH)D levels.
The HF-D
2
increased circulating 25(OH)D levels; it is
likely that this diet contains vitamin D, perhaps within
the lard-derived fat fraction. Supplementation of this diet
with vitamin D (i.e., the HF-D
+
) further increased serum
25(OH)D levels. Both UV irradiation and vitamin D sup-
plementation reduced the severity of NAFLD, suggesting
that vitamin D can recapitulate the effects of UVR for the
prevention of certain obesity-related pathologies. We also
showed that some of the effects of UVR may occur
through NO production. In particular, it is likely that
suberythemal UVR and then cPTIO, or 5) received long-term irradiation with suberythemal UVR and then 1,25(OH)
2
D. Mice were treated for
12 weeks with these skin/dietary interventions until 20 weeks of age. C: Skin NO levels, 10 min after skin treatment (n= 8 mice/treatment).
D: Mouse weights, weight gain, and WAT weights (n= 18 mice/treatment). E: Fasting glucose and GTT AUC (n= 8 mice/treatment). F:
Fasting insulin and ITT AUC (n= 8 mice/treatment). G: Liver histopathology scores (n= 8 mice/treatment). Data are shown as the mean 6
SEM from one experiment. *P<0.05. VitD, vitamin D.
diabetes.diabetesjournals.org Geldenhuys and Associates 3767
UVR-induced NO may have profound effects on the de-
velopment of NAFLD, as topical SNAP suppressed liver
pathology, and cPTIO antagonized the effects of UVR.
Various nonvitamin D immunomodulators induced by
UVR, like NO (28), may be important for the regulation
of immunity (29) and obesity/MetS development (30).
Skin exposure to UVR releases NO from skin (28) and
could control obesity through NO-dependent effects on
mitochondria biogenesis within brown adipose tissue (31).
We have recently shown that UVR-induced NO reduces
blood pressure in healthy human volunteers (28). NO may
also be a crucial modulator of insulin and glucose transport,
and inhibition of NO may cause insulin resistance (32).
Combined with our results, these studies point to topically
induced NO as a potentially important clinical means to
suppress obesity and type 2 diabetes development.
The capacity of long-term UVR to suppress the devel-
opment of obesity and metrics of MetS was less effective
in mice orally supplemented with vitamin D [but not with
topical 1,25(OH)
2
D]. This was an unexpected nding but
could be explained by potential interactions of UVR-induced
mediators and dietary vitamin D, including NO (27). The
different effects of dietary vitamin D and topical 1,25
(OH)
2
D could be accounted for by the hypercalcemia in-
duced by long-term topical 1,25(OH)
2
D. In addition, after
12 weeks of treatment, serum 25(OH)D levels were signif-
icantly reduced by topical 1,25(OH)
2
D but not by the other
treatments (data not shown). Others have also observed
(33) that vitamin D suppressed weight gain in vivo after
intraperitoneal injections of 1,25(OH)
2
D(5mg/kg every 2
days), although the effects on circulating levels of calcium
[and 25(OH)D] were not reported. Others have shown (34)
that UVR may increase cortisol production in skin, which
has the potential to impact the hypothalamic-pituitary-
adrenal axis. While this might be hypothesized to alter
physical activity, no obvious behavioral effects were ob-
served in this study. However, we cannot exclude the
possibility that UVR alters neuroendocrine signaling net-
works in the skin (35) that might have a systemic impact.
Nakano et al. (13) showed that phototherapy sup-
pressed NAFLD but failed to reduce obesity, steatosis,
and blood glucose levels in Zucker fa-fa rats. These results
may differ from our own through signicant differences
in the phototherapies delivered and the mouse model of
obesity. Dietary vitamin D has also previously been shown
to suppress the development of NAFLD in Sprague-
Dawley rats fed a westernized(high-fat/fructose) diet
(36), and in Lewis rats fed a choline-decient and iron-
supplemented L-amino aciddened diet (13). We also
observed that dietary vitamin D suppressed circulating
TNF-alevels in mice fed a high-fat diet. UVR did not
suppress serum TNF-alevels, suggesting that dietary vi-
tamin D and UVR may suppress NAFLD through differing
mechanisms. For control of NAFLD, the role of other
players within the vitamin D pathway is worthy of further
consideration. For example, circulating levels of the vita-
min D binding protein GC inversely correlate with liver
steatosis, and may determine the ability of vitamin D to
modulate the development of NAFLD (37). In addition,
1,25(OH)
2
D may act through the vitamin D receptor to
improve insulin sensitivity (38).
Our observations suggest that not all of the effects of
UVR on disease prevention can be achieved through
dietary vitamin D and that the role of other UV-induced
mediators like NO deserve further consideration. Fur-
thermore, by using a mouse modeling approach we were
able to remove the confounding effects of activity out of
doors, which might explain the observed associations of
reduced obesity and increased serum 25(OH)D levels. A
caveat is that while mice have conserved the ability to
synthesize vitamin D and NO in the skin and systemically
post-UVR, as fur-covered nocturnal animals they are not
usually exposed to much sunlight. Further studies are
required to translate the ndings of our murine studies to
humans. However, our results support recent calls for
clinical trials that test the efcacy of skin exposure to
sunlight or UVR for the control of chronic diseases like
multiple sclerosis (39) and depression (40), which, like
obesity and MetS, may take years to develop. In conclu-
sion, our studies show that long-term low-dose sunlight
exposure may be an effective means of suppressing obe-
sity and MetS in mice fed a high-fat diet, through path-
ways that are independent of vitamin D and at least
partially dependent on skin-derived NO.
Acknowledgments. The authors thank Drs. Bernadette Fernandez and
Magda Minnion for measuring serum nitrite/nitrate levels; Professor Michael
Clarke at the Centre for Metabolomics (University of Western Australia) for
performing the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry detection of serum
25(OH)D; Linda Gregory at the PathWest Laboratory at Royal Perth Hospital
(Perth, Western Australia, Australia) for performing the serum calcium,
cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride analyses; and
Maxine Crook at Princess Margaret Hospital Pathology (Subiaco, Western
Australia, Australia) for embedding, sectioning, and staining the liver specimens.
Funding. This research was supported by the BrightSpark Foundation and the
Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.
Duality of Interest. No potential conicts of interest relevant to this article
were reported.
Author Contributions. S.Ge. performed the majority of the experiments
and statistical analyses, and reviewed and edited the manuscript. P.H.H.
contributed to the discussion, and reviewed and edited the manuscript. R.E.
helped to optimize the skin NO assay and reviewed and edited the manuscript.
P.J. provided the statistical expertise for the experimental design and data
analysis. M.F. helped to design the study, supervised the analysis of serum NO
metabolites, and reviewed and edited the manuscript. R.B.W. helped to design
the study and reviewed and edited the manuscript. V.M. helped to design the
study, contributed to the discussion, and reviewed and edited the manuscript.
S.Go. envisaged and designed the study and wrote the manuscript. S.Go. is the
guarantor of this work and, as such, had full access to all the data in the study
and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data
analysis.
Prior Presentation. Parts of this study were presented in abstract form at
the Australian Society for Medical Research Western Australia Scientic Symposium,
Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 5 June 2013; the Murdoch Childrens Research
Institute Molecular Medicine Series, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 12 July 2013;
3768 UV Inhibits Obesity Independently of Vitamin D Diabetes Volume 63, November 2014
and the 6th Asia and Oceania Conference on Photobiology, Sydney, New South
Wales, Australia, 1013 November 2013.
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diabetes.diabetesjournals.org Geldenhuys and Associates 3769
... For example, clinical studies have shown that sunlight, especially ultraviolet A (UVA), has direct effects on vascular health and lowers blood pressure through the release of nitric oxide (NO) from the skin. Exposure to UVA for 20 minutes causes a reduction in the mean systolic arterial pressure of 3.5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure of 4.9 mmHg in healthy adults [8][9][10]. In animal samples, the beneficial effects of UVA exposure on the immune system and metabolic systems have been confirmed. ...
... In animal samples, the beneficial effects of UVA exposure on the immune system and metabolic systems have been confirmed. One study found that, when exposed to UV rays, mice fed high-fat diets weighed 40% lower and had less fasting glucose, insulin and glucose intolerance [9,10]. Researchers attributed this to the increased release of NO from the skin due to UV rays. ...
Article
Background: Hypovitaminosis D is a risk factor for infertility and several adverse pregnancy outcomes. These negative effects of vitamin D deficiency may be due to inflammatory processes. T lymphocytes play a key role in the formation of immune response by producing some cytokines. Vitamin D is known to have significant effects on T lymphocytes and T regulator cells. The most significant determinant of vitamin D in the human body is sun exposure. The most important indicator determining the sun exposure in a region is the ultraviolet index (UVi). We tried to determine the effect of UV changes on vitamin D values during pregnancy and possible effects on inflammatory markers in a single region. Methods: The vitamin D serum values and blood count values of pregnant patients at the time of first admission were recorded in the months of April to September (AS) and October to March (OM). The daily UVi values of the Izmir region were obtained. These daily values were averaged according to the two groups. As inflammatory markers, the Neutrophil-Lymphocyte ratio (NLR), Platelet-Lymphocyte ratio (PLR), Monocyte-Lymphocyte ratio (MLR), mean platelet volume (MPV) and erythrocyte volume distribution (RDW) values were calculated from the blood count. Results: The UVi mean value was found to be 8 for AS and 3 for OM. There was a significant difference in the mean vitamin D values for the AS (42 patients) and OM (40 patients) periods. A predisposition to inflammatory processes was determined for the OM period in terms of the inflammation markers examined between the two groups. Our study showed lower levels of RDW and MPV and similar values for NLR, PLR and MLR according to the UVi values. Discussion: Vitamin D plays role in many systems as a hormone, a vitamin or an immunomodulator after activation in the skin tissue. Besides its known benefits to the musculoskeletal system, adequate serum vitamin D values reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, mental disorders, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, autoimmune disorders and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Additionally, lower UVi may be associated with lower vitamin D values in pregnant women and increased inflammatory markers in complete blood count. As a result, in order to avoid adverse pregnancy outcomes, the UVi values of regions may be useful for determining replacement of vitamin D during or before pregnancy.
... This may also be of huge significance in a clinical setting whereby current technology developments may allow tailoring of simulated light allowing nitric oxide release without negative effects associated with shorter wavelength UV. In addition to this, the elderly, diabetics, those with reduced liver function or other groups with metabolic problems potentially associated with diminished nitric oxide function may also benefit from exposure of the skin to radiation in this spectral range ( 38,40,41 ). The available published data on the persistence of nitric oxide production after light exposure appear to be divergent. ...
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Evidence suggests that exposure to UV-A radiation can liberate nitric oxide from skin cells eliciting vasodilation in-vivo. However, the duration of nitric oxide release in skin cells after UV exposure is not well studied, with emphasis on UV-B mediated iNOS upregulation. The current study demonstrated persistence of nitric oxide release in a dark reaction after moderate UV-A exposure, peaking around 48 h post exposure; this effect was shown in keratinocytes, fibroblasts and endothelial cells from neonatal donors and keratinocytes from aged donors and confirmed the hypothesis that UV-A exposure appeared to upregulate cNOS alongside iNOS. Release of nitric oxide in the skin cells induced by a moderate exposure to UV-A in sunlight may be especially beneficial for some demographic groups such as the elderly, hypertensive patients or those with impaired nitric oxide function, not only during exposure but many hours and days after that.
... As pointed out by Urban Green Spaces and Health (2016), increased exposure optimizes Vitamin D levels, a factor of additional importance to Scandinavian populations. Moreover, accumulating evidence shows that the various salutogenic effects of the exposure to ultraviolet radiation cannot be fully supplemented by dietary additives, like are common in Swedish food products such as milk (Geldenhuys et al., 2014); accordingly, ensuring an adequate frequency and length of sunlight exposure in the Scandinavian context would have numerous positive health outcomes (Alfredsson et al., 2020). However, while the effects of sunlight exposure on public health are generally considered positive in the northern hemisphere, extensive exposure to UV radiation can also bear adverse health outcomes (WHO, 2016, p. 9). ...
Thesis
Urban green spaces (UGS) can produce health-improving (salutogenic) and equigenic effects that narrow the health gap between disadvantaged and affluent neighbourhoods. Yet, the magnitude of such effects relies on the quality of a UGS. Various studies have found UGS quality to be worse in low-income neighbourhoods. Thus, the equigenic potential is often negated. This thesis examines if these findings can be replicated within the city of Stockholm. For this, two quality domains were identified. (1) The accessibility to a UGS determines the exposure to health benefits, as barriers to entry afford usage only to some individuals. (2) The salutogenic potentiality, determined by various qualities, influences the UGS’s ability to produce health-improving effects. For the assessment of these domains, the UGS Quality Audit Tool (UQAT) was developed, which uses GIS analysis and in-situ audits to assess 64 indicators. The UQAT produces an accessibility score, salutogenic potentiality score, total score, and individual inclusivity scores. In this thesis, the tool was used in a comparative case study of twelve UGS in six Stockholm neighbourhoods. The UGS were sorted into three groups depending on their neighbourhood’s socioeconomic status (SES) and health resilience. The aim was to determine whether the quality of the UGS differed significantly between groups. The results replicate findings from other countries, showing a significantly lower salutogenic potentiality for the UGS in low-SES neighbourhoods. Similarly, UGS gender-inclusivity scores were also significantly lower in low-SES neighbourhoods. While similar tendencies were identified concerning salutogenic potentiality and health resilience, these findings were not conclusive. Lastly, no significant relations to neighbourhood health or SES were found for accessibility or the other inclusivity categories. The findings suggest that investments into the quality of UGS in low-SES neighbourhoods are needed to create a more equitable and inclusive Stockholm.
... Conversely, some studies have reported no effect of VD supplementation or VD deficiency on body weight, adiposity, or adipose tissue fat pad mass [56,57,59,61, [77][78][79], whereas other studies reported that VD deficiency decreased HF diet-induced obesity in rodents [80][81][82]. The lack of clear-cut results is problematic, and the origin of these discrepancies remains partly unexplained. ...
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Observational studies classically find an inverse relationship between human plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and obesity. However, interventional and genetic studies have failed to provide clear conclusions on the causal effect of vitamin D on obesity/adiposity. Likewise, vitamin D supplementation in obese rodents has mostly failed to improve obesity parameters, whereas several lines of evidence in rodents and prospective studies in humans point to a preventive effect of vitamin D supplementation on the onset of obesity. Recent studies investigating the impact of maternal vitamin D deficiency in women and in rodent models on adipose tissue biology programming in offspring further support a preventive metabolically driven effect of vitamin D sufficiency. The aim of this review is to summarize the state of the knowledge on the relationship between vitamin D and obesity/adiposity in humans and in rodents and the impact of maternal vitamin D deficiency on the metabolic trajectory of the offspring.
... Kết quả của chúng tôi cũng có phần tương ứng với nghiên cứu của Geldenhuys và cộng sự (2014). Các tác giả này khi tiến hành cho chuột tiếp xúc với ánh sáng mặt trời liều thấp trong thời gian dài có thể là một biện pháp hiệu quả để giảm béo phì ở chuột (Geldenhuys et al., 2014). Điều này đồng nghĩa với việc khi cho chuột tiếp xúc với tia UV lâu dài, chuột sẽ bị giảm cân. ...
Article
Ở Việt Nam hiện nay, các nghiên cứu về ảnh hưởng của tia UV chủ yếu thường đề cập ở da, đến thời điểm này chưa có công trình nào công bố tổng thể về ảnh hưởng của UVA lên khối lượng, tế bào máu và nội quan chuột. Do đó, đề tài tiến hành đánh giá ảnh hưởng của thời gian chiếu UVA lên sự tăng trọng, số lượng tế bào máu và một số nội quan ở chuột nhắt trắng. Chuột cái 6 tuần tuổi được cạo lông vùng lưng và chiếu UVA qua 3 mốc thời gian (3, 6, 9 giờ) và lô đối chứng trong 8 tuần liên tục. Kết quả cho thấy: khối lượng chuột có xu hướng giảm theo sự tăng dần thời gian chiếu; số lượng hồng cầu tăng mạnh sau 4 tuần và giảm mạnh sau 8 tuần (tại mốc 6 và 9 giờ); số lượng bạch cầu tăng không theo quy luật sau 4 tuần và giảm theo sự tăng dần thời gian chiếu sau 8 tuần; số lượng tiểu cầu tăng theo sự tăng thời gian chiếu sau 4 tuần và giảm theo sự tăng thời gian chiếu sau 8 tuần; cấu trúc của gan, thận, lách bị tổn thương từ nhẹ (3 giờ) sang nặng (6 và 9 giờ).
... A recent systematic review suggests that exposure to UVR can modulate metabolic function in humans 21 . In mice this type of modulation appears to be through a UVR-induced nitric oxide pathway 22 . ...
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Population-level ecological studies show type 1 diabetes incidence is inversely correlated with ambient ultraviolet radiation (UVR) levels. We conducted a nested case–control study using administrative datasets to test this association at the individual level. Cases (n = 1819) were children born in Western Australia (WA) from 1980–2014, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at ≤ 16 years. Controls (n = 27,259) were randomly selected from all live births in WA, matched to cases by sex and date of birth. Total ambient erythemal ultraviolet radiation (UVR) doses for each trimester of pregnancy and first year of life were estimated for each individual, using daily NASA satellite data that were date- and geographically-specific. Conditional logistic regression tested the association between UVR dose and case–control status. Type 1 diabetes risk was 42% lower in boys of mothers with third-trimester UVR dose in the highest (compared to the lowest) quartile (p = 0.04). Higher UVR in the first year of life was associated with lower type 1 diabetes risk among boys (p = 0.01). UVR dose was not associated with type 1 diabetes risk in girls. Higher UVR in late pregnancy and early life appear to interact with sex-specific factors to lower type 1 diabetes risk among boys in Western Australia.
... Many epidemiological studies have reported that a low circulating level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D), which is the main circulating form of vitamin D, is strongly associated with obesity (9) and cardiometabolic diseases such as insulin resistance (10), T2D (11), and CVD (12). The metabolic effects of VitD 3 supplementation assessed in individuals with obesity or MetS remain inconclusive (13)(14)(15) and, in MetS mouse models, the studies have shown mixed effects (16)(17)(18), likely because of differences in VitD 3 dose. ...
Article
Objective This study investigated the effects of a low-dose salmon peptide fraction (SPF) and vitamin D3 (VitD3) in obese and VitD3-deficient mice at risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Methods Obese and VitD3-deficient low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr)−/−/apolipoprotein B100 (ApoB)100/100 mice were treated with high-fat high-sucrose diets, with 25% of dietary proteins replaced by SPF or a nonfish protein mix (MP). The SPF and MP groups received a VitD3-deficient diet or a supplementation of 15,000 IU of VitD3 per kilogram of diet. Glucose homeostasis, atherosclerosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and gut health were assessed. Results VitD3 supplementation increased plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D to optimal status whereas the VitD3-deficient diet maintained moderate deficiency. SPF-treated groups spent more energy and accumulated less visceral fat in association with an improved adipokine profile. SPF lowered homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance compared with MP, suggesting that SPF can improve insulin sensitivity. SPF alone blunted hepatic and colonic inflammation, whereas VitD3 supplementation attenuated ileal inflammation. These effects were associated with changes in gut microbiota such as increased Mogibacterium and Muribaculaceae. Conclusions SPF treatment improves MetS by modulating hepatic and gut inflammation along with gut microbiota, suggesting that SPF operates through a gut-liver axis. VitD3 supplementation has limited influence on MetS in this model.
... This interaction between skin and environment factors can regulate Central Nervous System (CNS) functions 11 . For instance, ultraviolet light absorption by the skin can upregulate neuroendocrine axes 10,11 and it is suggested to modulate body weight [12][13][14] and depression-like behaviour 15 . Specifically, UVB skin exposure stimulate corticotropin-releasing hormone protein production and gene expression in the hypothalamus 10 . ...
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Glutamic acid is the main excitatory neurotransmitter acting both in the brain and in peripheral tissues. Abnormal distribution of glutamic acid receptors occurs in skin hyperproliferative conditions such as psoriasis and skin regeneration; however, the biological function of glutamic acid in the skin remains unclear. Using ex vivo, in vivo and in silico approaches, we showed that exogenous glutamic acid promotes hair growth and keratinocyte proliferation. Topical application of glutamic acid decreased the expression of genes related to apoptosis in the skin, whereas glutamic acid increased cell viability and proliferation in human keratinocyte cultures. In addition, we identified the keratinocyte glutamic acid excitotoxic concentration, providing evidence for the existence of a novel skin signalling pathway mediated by a neurotransmitter that controls keratinocyte and hair follicle proliferation. Thus, glutamic acid emerges as a component of the peripheral nervous system that acts to control cell growth in the skin. These results raise the perspective of the pharmacological and nutritional use of glutamic acid to treat skin diseases.
Article
Ultraviolet B (UVB) stimulates the generation of extracellular vesicles which elicit systemic effects. Here, we studied whether UVB affects the release and microRNA (miR) content of keratinocyte exosomes (EXs) in diabetic conditions. In vitro, we examined the UVB effects on affecting EX release from keratinocyte HaCaT cells (HaCaT-EX) pretreated with high glucose. HaCaT-EX functions were evaluated on Schwann cells (SCs). In vivo, UVB-induced miR change in skin EXs of diabetic db/db mice were analyzed. The miRs of interest were validated in HaCaT-EXs. We found that: 1) UVB promoted HaCaT-EX generation in dose- and time- dependent manners; 100 and 1800 J/m² of UVB had the most prominent effect and were selected as effective low- and high- fluences UVB in vitro. 2) A total of 13 miRs were differentially expressed > 3-fold in skin EXs in UVB-treated db/db mice; miR-126 was the most up-regulated by low-fluence UVB. 3) Functional studies revealed that the SC viability was improved by low-fluence UVB HaCaT-EXs, whilst worsen by high-fluence UVB HaCaT-EXs. 4) MiR-126 inhibitor attenuated the effects induced by low-fluence UVB HaCaT-EXs. Our data have demonstrated that low- and high- fluences UVB promote HaCaT-EX generation but differentially affect exosomal miR levels and functions under diabetic conditions.
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The incidence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease correlates with latitude and rises in winter. The molecular basis for this remains obscure. As nitric oxide (NO) metabolites are abundant in human skin we hypothesised that exposure to UVA may mobilise NO bioactivity into the circulation to exert beneficial cardiovascular effects independently of vitamin D. In 24 healthy volunteers irradiation of the skin with 2 Standard Erythemal Doses of UVA lowered BP, with concomitant decreases in circulating nitrate and rises in nitrite concentrations. Unexpectedly, acute dietary intervention aimed at modulating systemic nitrate availability had no effect on UV-induced hemodynamic changes, indicating that cardiovascular effects were not mediated via direct utilization of circulating nitrate. UVA irradiation of the forearm caused increased blood flow independently of NO-synthase activity, suggesting involvement of pre-formed cutaneous NO stores. Confocal fluorescence microscopy studies of human skin pre-labelled with the NO-imaging probe DAF2-DA revealed that UVA-induced NO release occurs in a NOS-independent, dose-dependent fashion, with the majority of the light-sensitive NO pool in the upper epidermis. Collectively, our data provide mechanistic insights into an important function of the skin in modulating systemic NO bioavailability which may account for the latitudinal and seasonal variations of BP and cardiovascular disease.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article preview online, 20 January 2014. doi:10.1038/jid.2014.27.
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Obesity and vitamin D deficiency have both been recognized as major public health issues worldwide, and there is growing evidence that they are related, although the cause-effect relationship remains unclear. Could obesity be contributing to low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations? Alternatively, could low vitamin D status predispose to obesity? In this review, the relationship between low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and obesity, and possible underlying reasons from both perspectives, is presented. One potential mechanism by which obesity could contribute to low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is adipose sequestration of vitamin D. On the other hand, adipose tissue has both the vitamin D receptor and the ability to synthesize 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and there is evidence that vitamin D may regulate adipose tissue mass, differentiation and metabolism in ways that might contribute to obesity. Of particular interest, vitamin D deficiency is common both before and after bariatric surgery, and is often difficult to treat, particularly with the more malabsorptive procedures. Additional research is needed to elucidate the complex and multifaceted factors underlying the association between low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and obesity, and to identify optimal treatment approaches in obese individuals and in bariatric surgical patients both before and after surgery.
Article
Low serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) have been associated with many non-skeletal disorders. However, whether low 25(OH)D is the cause or result of ill health is not known. We did a systematic search of prospective and intervention studies that assessed the effect of 25(OH)D concentrations on non-skeletal health outcomes in individuals aged 18 years or older. We identified 290 prospective cohort studies (279 on disease occurrence or mortality, and 11 on cancer characteristics or survival), and 172 randomised trials of major health outcomes and of physiological parameters related to disease risk or inflammatory status. Investigators of most prospective studies reported moderate to strong inverse associations between 25(OH)D concentrations and cardiovascular diseases, serum lipid concentrations, inflammation, glucose metabolism disorders, weight gain, infectious diseases, multiple sclerosis, mood disorders, declining cognitive function, impaired physical functioning, and all-cause mortality. High 25(OH)D concentrations were not associated with a lower risk of cancer, except colorectal cancer. Results from intervention studies did not show an effect of vitamin D supplementation on disease occurrence, including colorectal cancer. In 34 intervention studies including 2805 individuals with mean 25(OH)D concentration lower than 50 nmol/L at baseline supplementation with 50 mug per day or more did not show better results. Supplementation in elderly people (mainly women) with 20 mug vitamin D per day seemed to slightly reduce all-cause mortality. The discrepancy between observational and intervention studies suggests that low 25(OH)D is a marker of ill health. Inflammatory processes involved in disease occurrence and clinical course would reduce 25(OH)D, which would explain why low vitamin D status is reported in a wide range of disorders. In elderly people, restoration of vitamin D deficits due to ageing and lifestyle changes induced by ill health could explain why low-dose supplementation leads to slight gains in survival.
Article
Nitric oxide (NO) is thought to be a key molecule in the progression of ulcerative colitis and experimental colitis induced by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). However, the detrimental effect of DSS-induced NO production on the colonic mucosa is incompletely understood. Increases in the expression of adhesion molecules in the vascular endothelium and activated neutrophils (thereby releasing injurious molecules such as reactive oxygen species) are reportedly associated with the pathogenesis of DSS-induced colitis. We investigated if the detrimental effect of NO production on the colonic mucosa was attributable to the activation of neutrophil infiltration by NO in mice with DSS-induced colitis. NO2−/NO3− content in the middle and distal colon was increased on days 5 and 7, but alterations in the proximal colon were not observed. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and expression of P-selectin and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) were significantly increased in the entire colon, whereas TNF-α levels were significantly increased only in the middle and distal colon on day 7. The pathology of colitis and increases in colonic MPO activity, P-selectin, ICAM-1, and TNF-α levels were suppressed by the inducible NO synthase (iNOS)-specific inhibitor aminoguanidine and NO scavenger c-PTIO, whereas all but TNF-α levels were increased by the non-specific NOS inhibitor L-NAME. These findings suggest that iNOS-derived NO increases TNF-α levels in the middle and distal colon and increased TNF-α levels induce expression of P-selectin and ICAM-1, thereby promoting the infiltration of activated neutrophils, which leads to damage to colonic tissue.
Article
Low serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) have been associated with many non-skeletal disorders. However, whether low 25(OH)D is the cause or result of ill health is not known. We did a systematic search of prospective and intervention studies that assessed the effect of 25(OH)D concentrations on non-skeletal health outcomes in individuals aged 18 years or older. We identified 290 prospective cohort studies (279 on disease occurrence or mortality, and 11 on cancer characteristics or survival), and 172 randomised trials of major health outcomes and of physiological parameters related to disease risk or inflammatory status. Investigators of most prospective studies reported moderate to strong inverse associations between 25(OH)D concentrations and cardiovascular diseases, serum lipid concentrations, inflammation, glucose metabolism disorders, weight gain, infectious diseases, multiple sclerosis, mood disorders, declining cognitive function, impaired physical functioning, and all-cause mortality. High 25(OH)D concentrations were not associated with a lower risk of cancer, except colorectal cancer. Results from intervention studies did not show an effect of vitamin D supplementation on disease occurrence, including colorectal cancer. In 34 intervention studies including 2805 individuals with mean 25(OH)D concentration lower than 50 nmol/L at baseline supplementation with 50 μg per day or more did not show better results. Supplementation in elderly people (mainly women) with 20 μg vitamin D per day seemed to slightly reduce all-cause mortality. The discrepancy between observational and intervention studies suggests that low 25(OH)D is a marker of ill health. Inflammatory processes involved in disease occurrence and clinical course would reduce 25(OH)D, which would explain why low vitamin D status is reported in a wide range of disorders. In elderly people, restoration of vitamin D deficits due to ageing and lifestyle changes induced by ill health could explain why low-dose supplementation leads to slight gains in survival.
Article
The role of cis-urocanic acid (UCA) as a UV-mediated immunomodulator in MS patients was investigated. Plasma levels of cis-UCA were significantly lower in MS patients compared to controls. Stimulation of MBP- and MOG-specific T cells in the presence of cis-UCA, significantly increased IL-10, and inhibited IFN-γ production. PBMCs cultured in the presence of cis-UCA increased CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) regulatory T cell percentages. Dendritic cells cultured in the presence of cis-UCA significantly reduced Ag presentation capacity. Finally, cis-UCA activated the 5-HT2A receptor, inducing the increase in phosphorylated forms of ERK 1/2 and JNK2. Thus, in addition to vitamin D, cis-UCA also appears to be an additional UV-mediated immunomodulator.
Article
Objective: Insufficient sun exposure and vitamin D deficiency have both been associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). Depressi on, anxiety, fatigue and cognitive impairment are prevalent and disabling symptoms in MS. Our objective was to examine the associations between personal sun exposure and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and depression, anxiety, fatigue and cognition. Methods: A total of 198 participants with multiple sclerosis were followed prospectively for an average of 2.3 years. Assessments of serum 25(OH)D, sun exposure, depression, anxiety and fatigue were carried out biannually; cognition was assessed annually. Results: Personal reported sun exposure was inversely associated with depression scores (β -0.26 (95%CI -0.40, -0.12);P ≤ 0.001) and fatigue scores (β -0.65 (95%CI -1.23, -0.07); P = 0.028). Only high levels of 25(OH)D (>80 nm) were inversely associated depression scores (β -0.64 (95%CI -1.15, -0.13); P = 0.015), but this was not significant after adjustment for reported sun exposure. No associations were seen between reported sun exposure or serum 25(OH)D levels and anxiety or cognition scores. Conclusion: We found that higher levels reported sun exposure, rather than 25(OH)D levels, were associated with less depressive symptoms and levels of fatigue. The role of UV or light therapy will need to be evaluated in randomized controlled trials to confirm an effect on these symptoms in MS.
Data
Obesity and vitamin D deficiency have both been recognized as major public health issues worldwide, and there is growing evidence that they are related, although the cause–effect relationship remains unclear. Could obesity be contributing to low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations? Alternatively, could low vitamin D status predispose to obesity? In this review, the relationship between low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and obesity, and possible underlying reasons from both perspectives, is presented. One potential mechanism by which obesity could contribute to low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is adipose sequestration of vitamin D. On the other hand, adipose tissue has both the vitamin D receptor and the ability to synthesize 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and there is evidence that vitamin D may regulate adipose tissue mass, differentiation and metabolism in ways that might contribute to obesity. Of particular interest, vitamin D deficiency is common both before and after bariatric surgery, and is often difficult to treat, particularly with the more malabsorptive procedures. Additional research is needed to elucidate the complex and multifaceted factors underlying the association between low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and obesity, and to identify optimal treatment approaches in obese individuals and in bariatric surgical patients both before and after surgery.
Article
The analysis of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) and related metabolites represents a considerable challenge for both clinical and research laboratories worldwide. There is currently debate about the best methodology employed to assess vitamin D status and whether the 3-epi-25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (3-epi-25(OH)D3) should be separated and quantitated when measuring 25(OH)D3. Mass spectrometry techniques are generally regarded as the gold standard due to high specificity for vitamin D metabolites. However, many methods require high sample volumes for analysis. We have developed a new 2 dimensional (2D) ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) separation coupled tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) detection to accurately quantitate 25(OH)D3, epi-25(OH)D3, and 25(OH)D2 in adults and children, requiring only 50 uL of human serum. The assay gives excellent separation of epi-25(OH)D3, and 25(OH)D2 from 25(OH)D3, has excellent precision with an intra-assay CV of 0.5 % at 74 nmol/L and can report down to 2 nmol/L for 25(OH)D3. Furthermore, the method shows excellent agreement with the vitamin D external quality assessment scheme (DEQAS) quality control program for vitamin D analysis. We present this approach as a candidate reference method for 25(OH)D3, epi-25(OH)D3, and 25(OH)D2 analysis in humans.