Behavioural anomalies in mice evoked by "Tokyo" disruption of the Vitamin D receptor gene

Allan V. Kalueff*, Tiina Keisala, Anna Minasyan, Marianne Kuuslahti, Susanna Miettinen, Pentti Tuohimaa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


Vitamin D is a steroid hormone with many important functions in the brain, mediated through the nuclear Vitamin D receptor (VDR). Mounting clinical data link VDR mutations to various psychiatric phenotypes. We have reported previously that mutant mice lacking functional VDR ("Tokyo" VDR mutant mice) display several behavioural anomalies, including high anxiety and aberrant grooming. Given the important role of Vitamin D and VDR in brain development and functioning, we hypothesized that several other important behavioural domains may be affected by disruption of the VDR gene in mice. Here we report that VDR mutants display unaffected depressive-like behaviour, but show abnormal social behaviours, reduced social barbering and aggressiveness, impaired nest building and aberrant maternal (pup neglect, cannibalism) behaviours. Taken together, these findings confirm the important role postulated for the VDR in the regulation of behaviour, and suggest the mice lacking functional VDR may be a useful tool to model different brain disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggressiveness
  • Barbering
  • Knockout mice
  • Maternal behaviour
  • Nest building
  • Social interaction
  • Vitamin D receptors


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