Horm Metab Res 2004; 36(9): 620-624
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-825926
Original Clinical
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Lack of Effect of Vitamin D Administration during Pregnancy and Early Life on Diabetes Incidence in the Non-obese Diabetic Mouse

M.  I.  Hawa1 , M.  G.  Valorani1 , L.  R.  Buckley1 , P.  E.  Beales1 , A.  Afeltra2 , F.  Cacciapaglia2 , R.  D.  G.  Leslie1 , P.  Pozzilli1, 2
  • 1Department of Diabetes, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and the London, Queen Mary, University of London UK
  • 2Departments of Endocrinology and Immunology, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

Received 11 November 2003

Accepted after revision 15 April 2004

Publication Date:
15 October 2004 (online)


Background and aims: Several studies have suggested that vitamin D supplementation in early life may reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in later life. The non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse is a model of spontaneous type 1 diabetes currently used for testing hypothesis/compounds aimed at disease prevention. In this study, we tested the effect of vitamin D (16 IU by gavage) on diabetes incidence in NOD/Ba mice treated from conception with olive oil containing vitamin D via maternal dosing up to 10 weeks of age and followed up until 32 weeks of age.

Methods: Twelve breeding pairs were administered olive oil containing vitamin D during pregnancy, 15 days following the birth of the pups and for the next 10 weeks subsequently. The same breeding pairs were bred again after a clearance period of 15 days using a control solution to produce a control litter. This control group received a control solution for the same period of time. Diabetes incidence, degree of insulitis, and insulin content in the pancreas were investigated in the two groups.

Results: 12 vitamin D-treated NOD mice developed diabetes compared to 15 animals in the control group (Log rank test p = 0.899, NS). There were no significant differences between the groups in diabetes incidence, time of onset of the disease, degree of insulitis, or the insulin content in the pancreas.

Conclusion: Vitamin D administered in utero and in the early stages of life at the dosage used does not change the incidence of diabetes or modify the disease process that leads to beta cell destruction in the NOD mouse.


Prof. P. Pozzilli

Department of Diabetes, St. Bartholomew's Hospital

West Smithfield · London EC1A 7BE · UK

Phone: +44 (20) 76 01 74 52

Fax: +44 (20) 76 01 74 49

Email: p.p.pozzilli@qmul.ac.uk