Vitamin D Deficiency During Development Permanently Alters Liver Cell Composition and Function. Academic Article uri icon


  • Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays a critical role in calcium homeostasis, the immune system, and normal development. Many epidemiological cohort studies globally have found high prevalence rates of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, recognized as an important health issue that needs to be solved. In particular, reproductive age and pregnant women low in vitamin D status may confer risks of diseases like obesity on their offspring. While observational studies have suggested associations between prenatal vitamin D deficiency and metabolic phenotypes in offspring, not yet determined is whether prenatal vitamin D deficiency permanently alters the development of the liver, a major metabolic organ. We tested the histopathology and the transcriptomic profiles of livers from male C57BL/6J mice exposed to prenatal vitamin D deficiency through a maternal dietary intervention model. We found that prenatal vitamin D deficiency increases the prevalence of histopathological changes in the liver, and alters its gene expression profile. Cell subtype proportion analysis showed that the liver of prenatal vitamin D deficiency alters non-parenchymal cells of the liver, specifically macrophages, a subset of endothelial cells, and dendritic cells. Our results indicate the long-term memory of prenatal vitamin D deficiency exposure in the adult liver, a potential contributor to offspring health risks.

published proceedings

  • Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)

altmetric score

  • 3.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Lundy, K., Greally, J. F., Essilfie-Bondzie, G., Olivier, J. B., Doa-Termine, R., Greally, J. M., & Suzuki, M.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Lundy, Kassidy||Greally, John F||Essilfie-Bondzie, Grace||Olivier, Josephine B||Doña-Termine, Reanna||Greally, John M||Suzuki, Masako

publication date

  • January 2022