High vitamin D and calcium intakes reduce diet-induced obesity in mice by increasing adipose tissue apoptosis

Authors

  • Igor N. Sergeev,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, USA
    • Correspondence: Dr. Igor N. Sergeev, Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, Box 2203, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA

      E-mail: igor.sergeev@sdstate.edu

      Fax: +1-605-688-5603

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  • Qingming Song

    1. Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD, USA
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Abstract

Scope

Modulation of apoptosis is emerging as a promising antiobesity strategy because removal of adipocytes through this process will result in reducing body fat. Effects of vitamin D on apoptosis are mediated via multiple signaling pathways that involve common regulators and effectors converging on cellular Ca2+. We have previously shown that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces the Ca2+ signal associated with activation of Ca2+-dependent apoptotic proteases in mature adipocytes. In this study, a diet-induced obesity (DIO) mouse model was used to evaluate the role of vitamin D and calcium in adiposity.

Methods and results

DIO mice fed high vitamin D3, high Ca, and high D3 plus high Ca diets demonstrated a decreased body and fat weight gain, improved markers of adiposity and vitamin D status (plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, adiponectin, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, parathyroid hormone (PTH)), but an increased plasma Ca2+. High D3 and Ca intakes were associated with induction of apoptosis and activation of Ca2+-dependent apoptotic proteases, calpain and caspase-12, in adipose tissue of DIO mice. The combination of D3 plus Ca was more effective than D3 or Ca alone in decreasing adiposity.

Conclusion

The results imply that high vitamin D and Ca intakes activate the Ca2+-mediated apoptotic pathway in adipose tissue. Targeting this pathway with vitamin D and Ca supplementation could contribute to the prevention and treatment of obesity. However, this potentially effective and affordable approach needs to be evaluated from a safety point of view.

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