Department of Economics and Business Economics

Vitamin D and the brain: Genomic and non-genomic actions

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Xiaoying Cui, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Qld 4072, Australia.
  • ,
  • Helen Gooch, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Qld 4072, Australia.
  • ,
  • Alice Petty, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Qld 4072, Australia.
  • ,
  • John J McGrath
  • Darryl Eyles, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Qld 4072, Australia; Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Wacol, Qld 4076, Australia. Electronic address: eyles@uq.edu.au.

1,25(OH)2D3 (vitamin D) is well-recognized as a neurosteroid that modulates multiple brain functions. A growing body of evidence indicates that vitamin D plays a pivotal role in brain development, neurotransmission, neuroprotection and immunomodulation. However, the precise molecular mechanisms by which vitamin D exerts these functions in the brain are still unclear. Vitamin D signalling occurs via the vitamin D receptor (VDR), a zinc-finger protein in the nuclear receptor superfamily. Like other nuclear steroids, vitamin D has both genomic and non-genomic actions. The transcriptional activity of vitamin D occurs via the nuclear VDR. Its faster, non-genomic actions can occur when the VDR is distributed outside the nucleus. The VDR is present in the developing and adult brain where it mediates the effects of vitamin D on brain development and function. The purpose of this review is to summarise the in vitro and in vivo work that has been conducted to characterise the genomic and non-genomic actions of vitamin D in the brain. Additionally we link these processes to functional neurochemical and behavioural outcomes. Elucidation of the precise molecular mechanisms underpinning vitamin D signalling in the brain may prove useful in understanding the role this steroid plays in brain ontogeny and function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Volume453
Pages (from-to)131-143
ISSN0303-7207
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Review

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