Long-term vitamin D3 supplementation does not prevent colonic inflammation or modulate bone health in IL-10 knockout mice at young adulthood

Nutrients. 2014 Sep 22;6(9):3847-62. doi: 10.3390/nu6093847.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an idiopathic disease that can impair bone metabolism. Low vitamin D status has been implicated in its progress. This study used interleukin (IL)-10 knockout (KO) mice, that develop an intestinal inflammation when housed in a non-sterile environment, to determine if supplementation with vitamin D3 throughout life could mitigate inflammation and attenuate the lower bone mineral content (BMC) and density (BMD), and bone strength. Female IL-10 KO mice were randomized 25 or 5000 IU vitamin D3/kg diet throughout pregnancy and lactation. At weaning, offspring received the same or opposite diet as their mother until age three months. Body weight growth was similar among groups within a sex. At three months of age, there were no differences in inflammation and gene expression in the colon of offspring. Male offspring exposed to continuous 25 IU vitamin D3/kg diet had lower (p < 0.001) colonic VDR expression and those exposed only to low vitamin D3 until weaning had higher serum IL-6. There were no differences in femur or vertebral BMC, BMD or bone strength. In summary, long-term exposure to vitamin D3 did not attenuate intestinal inflammation or preserve bone mineral or bone strength. Thus, supplementation with vitamin D3 does not exert anti-inflammatory effects in this mouse model that mimics human inflammatory bowel disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacology
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Colon / drug effects*
  • Colon / pathology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Femur / drug effects
  • Femur / metabolism
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Vitamin D / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamins / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamins
  • Interleukin-10
  • Vitamin D