Vitamin D deficiency causes airway hyperresponsiveness, increases airway smooth muscle mass, and reduces TGF-b expression in the lungs of female BALB/c mice
Foong, RE and Shaw, NC and Berry, LJ and Hart, PH and Gorman, S and Zosky, GR, Vitamin D deficiency causes airway hyperresponsiveness, increases airway smooth muscle mass, and reduces TGF-b expression in the lungs of female BALB/c mice, Physiological Reports, 2, (3) Article e00276. ISSN 2051-817X (2014) [Refereed Article]
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with disease severity in asthma. We tested whether there is a causal association between vitamin D deficiency, airway smooth muscle (ASM) mass, and the development of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). A physiologically relevant mouse model of vitamin D deficiency was developed by raising BALB/c mice on vitamin D-deficient or -replete diets. AHR was assessed by measuring lung function responses to increasing doses of inhaled methacholine. Five-micron sections from formalin-fixed lungs were used for ASM measurement and assessment of lung structure using stereological methods. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β levels were measured in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Lungs were dissected from embryonic day (E) 17.5 vitamin D-deficient and -replete fetal mice for quantification of ASM density and relative gene expression of TGF-β signaling pathway molecules. Eight-week-old adult vitamin D-deficient female mice had significantly increased airway resistance and ASM in the large airways compared with controls. Vitamin D-deficient female mice had a smaller lung volume, volume of parenchyma, and alveolar septa. Both vitamin D-deficient male and female mice had reduced TGF-β levels in BALF. Vitamin D deficiency did not have an effect on ASM density in E17.5 mice, however, expression of TGF-β1 and TGF-β receptor I was downregulated in vitamin D-deficient female fetal mice. Decreased expression of TGF-β1 and TGF-β receptor I during early lung development in vitamin D-deficient mice may contribute to airway remodeling and AHR in vitamin D-deficient adult female mice. This study provides a link between vitamin D deficiency and respiratory symptoms in chronic lung disease.