Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1002/mnfr.201700726
Document Shareable Link
Title (Primary) Vitamin D does not play a functional role in adipose tissue development in rodent models
Author Schutkowski, A.; Max, D.; Bönn, M.; Brandsch, C.; Grundmann, S.M.; Hirche, F.; Staege, M.S.; Stangl, G.I.
Source Titel Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
Year 2018
Department BOOEK; iDiv
Volume 62
Issue 4
Page From art. 1700726
Language englisch
Keywords adipocytes; adipose tissue; vitamin D
UFZ wide themes RU1;


Several studies have proposed a role of vitamin D in adipogenesis. Here, we sought to study the impact of the vitamin D receptor (Vdr) on adipocyte size in young and old mice and the effect of maternal vitamin D deficiency on fetal adipogenesis.

Methods and results

Histological analysis of adipose tissues shows that Vdr knockout (KO) mice have smaller adipocytes than wild-type (WT) mice. Next, we compare young and old Vdr-KO and WT mice and find no differences in adipocyte sizes between weaned Vdr-KO and WT mice. However, 1-year-old Vdr-KO mice, suffering from alopecia, have smaller-sized adipocytes than WT mice, although they consume more food. To elucidate whether vitamin D can directly impact adipocyte development at a critical stage of adipogenesis, we feed rat dams a vitamin D deficient (0 IU kg−1) or vitamin D adequate (1000 IU kg−1) diet. Neither DNA microarray analysis of the adipose tissues of the newborn rats nor the adipocyte sizes of 21-day-old offspring show significant differences between the two groups.


Data indicate that vitamin D does not play a fundamental role in adipogenesis because vitamin D does not affect fetal adipogenesis. Moreover, the smaller adipocytes observed in adult Vdr-KO mice are presumably caused by an increased energy expenditure due to alopecia.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schutkowski, A., Max, D., Bönn, M., Brandsch, C., Grundmann, S.M., Hirche, F., Staege, M.S., Stangl, G.I. (2018):
Vitamin D does not play a functional role in adipose tissue development in rodent models
Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 62 (4), art. 1700726 10.1002/mnfr.201700726