Oral administration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 completely protects NOD mice from insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2003 Sep 1;417(1):77-80. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9861(03)00338-2.


1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)), the biologically active form of vitamin D, is widely recognized as a modulator of the immune system as well as a regulator of mineral metabolism. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of vitamin D status and treatment with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) on diabetes onset in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, a murine model of human type I diabetes. We have found that vitamin D-deficiency increases the incidence of diabetes in female mice from 46% (n=13) to 88% (n=8) and from 0% (n=10) to 44% (n=9) in male mice as of 200 days of age when compared to vitamin D-sufficient animals. Addition of 50 ng of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)/day to the diet prevented disease onset as of 200 days and caused a significant rise in serum calcium levels, regardless of gender or vitamin D status. Our results indicate that vitamin D status is a determining factor of disease susceptibility and oral administration of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) prevents diabetes onset in NOD mice through 200 days of age.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Age of Onset
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Calcitriol / administration & dosage
  • Calcitriol / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium / blood
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hypercalcemia / chemically induced
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium