Zebrafish show long-term behavioral impairments resulting from developmental vitamin D deficiency.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Vitamin D has been shown in a wide variety of species to play critical roles in neurodevelopment. Vitamin D deficiency disrupts development of the brain and can cause lasting behavioral dysfunction. Zebrafish have become an important model for the study of development in general and neurodevelopment in particular. Zebrafish were used in the current study to characterize the effects of developmental vitamin D deficiency on behavioral function. Adult zebrafish that had been chronically fed a vitamin D deficient or replete diets were bred and the offspring were continued on those diets. The offspring were behaviorally tested as adults. In the novel tank diving test the vitamin D deficient diet significantly lowered the vertical position of fish indicative of more anxiety-like behavior. In the novel tank diving test swimming activity was also significantly decreased by vitamin D deficiency. Startle response was increased by developmental vitamin D deficiency during the early part of the test. No significant effects of vitamin D deficiency were seen with social affiliation and predatory stimulus avoidance tests. These results indicate a phenotype of vitamin D deficiency characterized by more anxiety-like behavior. This result was relatively specific inasmuch as few or no behavioral effects were seen in other behavioral tests.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Oliveri, AN; Knuth, M; Glazer, L; Bailey, J; Kullman, SW; Levin, ED

Published Date

  • October 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 224 /

Start / End Page

  • 113016 -

PubMed ID

  • 32561170

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7737556

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-507X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.113016


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States