Scientists from Queensland University have found that getting vitamin D to its active form pregnant female mice reduces the risk of autism in offspring. The researchers presented the results of their work in the journal Molecular Autism.
Previous studies have shown that viral effects on the immune system of pregnant female mice contributes to the fact that the offspring are often born with the symptoms that resemble the symptoms of autism in humans. These mice exhibit reduced social interaction, low ability to learn basic skills and other behavioral problems.
For their study, the scientists treated female mice with a substance that mimics a double-stranded RNA viruses. This substance was a sodium salt of polymeric acid, one strand of which is formed polyinosinic acid and the other polycytidylic acid.
In their study, the researchers found that female mice who received the vitamin D to its active form (calcitriol), gave birth to offspring that had characteristics of autism spectrum disorders. While mice born to females who did not receive vitamin D showed symptoms of autism.
Previous statistical studies have shown that women whose babies were born with autism, in most cases, did not receive adequate amounts of vitamin D during pregnancy.
The plans of the researchers to determine how much of the cholecalciferol form of vitamin D, which is safe for pregnant women, it is necessary to achieve the same level of active vitamin D in the blood in mice.