Prenatal vitamin D deficiency alters immune cell proportions of young adult offspring through alteration of long-term stem cell fates. Academic Article uri icon


  • Vitamin D deficiency is a common deficiency worldwide, particularly among women of reproductive age. During pregnancy, it increases the risk of immune-related diseases in offspring later in life. However, exactly how the body remembers exposure to an adverse environment during development is poorly understood. Herein, we explore the effects of prenatal vitamin D deficiency on immune cell proportions in offspring using vitamin D deficient mice established by dietary manipulation. We show that prenatal vitamin D deficiency alters immune cell proportions in offspring by changing the transcriptional properties of genes downstream of vitamin D receptor signaling in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells of both the fetus and adults. Further investigations of the associations between maternal vitamin D levels and cord blood immune cell profiles from 75 healthy pregnant women and their term babies also confirm that maternal vitamin D levels significantly affect immune cell proportions in the babies. Thus, lack of prenatal vitamin D, particularly at the time of hematopoietic stem cell migration from the liver to the bone marrow, has long-lasting effects on immune cell proportions. This highlights the importance of providing vitamin D supplementation at specific stages of pregnancy.

published proceedings

  • bioRxiv

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Ueda, K., Chin, S. S., Sato, N., Nishikawa, M., Yasuda, K., Miyasaka, N., ... Suzuki, M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Ueda, Koki||Chin, Shu Shien||Sato, Noriko||Nishikawa, Miyu||Yasuda, Kaori||Miyasaka, Naoyuki||Bera, Betelehem Solomon||Chorro, Laurent||Doña-Termine, Reanna||Koba, Wade R||Reynolds, David||Steidl, Ulrich G||Lauvau, Gregoire||Greally, John M||Suzuki, Masako

publication date

  • September 2023