Lack of Vitamin D Signalling Per Se Does Not Aggravate Cardiac Functional Impairment Induced by Myocardial Infarction in Mice

PLoS One. 2018 Oct 1;13(10):e0204803. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204803. eCollection 2018.


Epidemiological studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and support a role for vitamin D signalling in the pathophysiology of myocardial infarction. Vitamin D deficiency results in the development of secondary hyperparathyroidism, however, the role of secondary hyperparathyroidism in the pathophysiology of myocardial infarction is not known. Here, we aimed to explore further the secondary hyperparathyroidism independent role of vitamin D signalling in the pathophysiology of myocardial infarction by inducing experimental myocardial infarction in 3-month-old, male, wild-type mice and in mice lacking a functioning vitamin D receptor. In order to prevent secondary hyperparathyroidism in vitamin D receptor mutant mice, all mice were maintained on a rescue diet enriched with calcium, phosphorus, and lactose. Surprisingly, survival rate, cardiac function as measured by echocardiography and intra-cardiac catheterisation and cardiomyocyte size were indistinguishable between normocalcaemic vitamin D receptor mutant mice and wild-type controls, 2 and 8 weeks post-myocardial infarction. In addition, the myocardial infarction-induced inflammatory response was similar in vitamin D receptor mutants and wild-type mice, as evidenced by a comparable upregulation in cardiac interleukin-1-β and tumor-necrosis-factor-α mRNA abundance and similar elevations in circulating interleukin-1-β and tumor-necrosis-factor-α. Our data suggest that the lack of vitamin D signalling in normocalcaemic vitamin D receptor mutants has no major detrimental effect on cardiac function and outcome post-myocardial infarction. Our study may have important clinical implications because it suggests that the secondary hyperparathyroidism induced by vitamin D deficiency, rather than the lack of vitamin D signalling per se, may negatively impact cardiac function post-myocardial infarction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium, Dietary / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Myocardial Infarction / metabolism*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Phosphorus, Dietary / metabolism
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation / physiology
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism*


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Phosphorus, Dietary
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamin D