Increased stress and altered expression of histone modifying enzymes in brain are associated with aberrant behaviour in vitamin B12 deficient female mice

Shampa Ghosh, Jitendra Kumar Sinha, Nitin Khandelwal, Sumana Chakravarty, Arvind Kumar, Manchala Raghunath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

A sub-optimal nutritional environment from early life can be envisaged as a stressor that translates into mental health problems in adulthood. After considering (a) the widespread prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency especially amongst women in developing countries and (b) the importance of vitamin B12 in normal brain function, in this study we have elucidated the behavioural correlates of chronic severe and moderate vitamin B12 deficiency in C57BL/6 mice. Female weanling mice were assigned to three dietary groups: (a) control AIN-76A diet with cellulose as dietary fibre (b) vitamin B12 restricted AIN-76A diet with pectin as dietary fibre (severe deficiency group) and (c) vitamin B12 restricted AIN-76A diet with cellulose as dietary fibre (moderate deficiency group). The mice received these diets throughout pregnancy, lactation and thereafter. Nest-building, maternal care, anxiety and depressive behaviours were evaluated. Oxidative stress, activities of antioxidant enzymes and expression of various histone modifying enzymes in brain were investigated to unravel the probable underlying mechanisms. Our data suggests that both severe and moderate vitamin B12 deficiency induced anxiety and impaired maternal care. However, only severe vitamin B12 deficiency induced depression. Oxidative stress and poor antioxidant defense underlie the deleterious effects of both severe and moderate vitamin B12 deficiency. Altered expression of histone modifying enzymes in the brain of severely deficient mice is suggestive of epigenetic reprogramming. This study suggests that chronic vitamin B12 deficiency leads to behavioural anomalies in female C57BL/6 mice and the severity of these outcomes can be correlated to the level of deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
Volume23
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antioxidant enzyme
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Histone modifying enzyme
  • Oxidative stress
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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