Mechanical, biochemical, and structural effects of vitamin D deficiency on the chick heart

Angiology. 1989 Apr;40(4 Pt 1):300-8.


The effects of vitamin D deprivation on the chick heart were investigated from three aspects: cardiac contractility (+/- dP/dT), intracellular high-energy phosphorus compounds, and structural differences. Four-week-old vitamin D-deficient chicks were divided into four groups: Group A served as the normal group and received subcutaneous injections of cholecalciferol; Groups B and C were vitamin D-deficient hearts but perfused differently; Group D received daily subcutaneous injections of 5 micrograms of 1,25(OH)2D3. When the isolated spontaneously beating hearts (modified Langendorff preparation) were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit (KH) solution containing a calcium concentration of 2.5mM, the myocardial contractility of the vitamin D-deficient hearts was significantly increased when compared with group A. After the isolated heart had beaten for one hour, the myocardial contractility in the vitamin D-deficient hearts was found to decline to significantly lower values. Presacrifice administration of 1,25(OH)2D3 improved cardiac performance. Vitamin D deficiency resulted in an enhanced rate of decline of the intracellular high-energy phosphorus compounds. No differences were found in the microscopic study. These observations suggest that vitamin D has a role in cardiac function.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Chickens
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Myocardial Contraction*
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Organ Size
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism
  • Phosphorus / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / pathology
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology*


  • Phosphocreatine
  • Phosphorus
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Calcium