The VitDAL published their latest study on vitamin D and health outcomes this week. The work was a collaborative study between R(D)SVS, Roslin Institute and SRUC and explored the relationship between serum 25(OH)D concentrations in late autumn and subsequent breeding outcomes the following year in three flocks of sheep. The sheep were not receiving any supplementary food at the time of sampling which makes this flock a very informative cohort in which to explore the relationship between vitamin D and health outcomes. An important finding in this study was that the white faced Lleyn sheep had higher 25(OH)D3 concentrations than the darker coated Scottish Blackface sheep yet concentrations of 25(OH)D2, which is not produced in the skin, were not different between the 2 breeds. Consistent with our earlier work in Soay sheep, this study shows the impact coat colour has on 25(OH)D3 status in animals. In addition, we found that … Read More »
Professor Mellanby was an invited speaker at the Mellanby Centre, University of Sheffield last week. The Mellanby centre was named in honour of Sir Edward Mellanby who was a leading researcher in vitamin D and bone biology based in Sheffield. The annual symposium provided an excellent forum for dissemination of recent research findings and celebrate recent accomplishment by the Centre. Professor Mellanby gave an overview of Sir Edward’s life and achievements and described how his research transformed public health 100 years ago. The picture shows Prof Mellanby alongside Prof Russell, Prof Eastwell and Prof Coleman following the lifetime membership of the Mellanby Centre ceremony.
Professor Richard Mellanby from VitDAL had the great honour of presenting his inaugural lecture recently at the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. This was a wonderful opportunity to present the story of the lab’s work to date ranging from the first clinical cases of hypervitaminosis D that stimulated research in this area through to more recent studies on vitamin D status and health outcomes in large population studies and evaluations of immuno-modulatory properties of vitamin D metabolites. A recording of the talk can be accessed via this link
Professor Richard Mellanby from the VitDAL gave a presentation on the health benefits of vitamin D at the Biggar Science Festival this week. The Biggar Science Festival is a fantastic 10 day celebration of science past, present and future and offers a great range of science engagement activities for all ages – further details can be found at their website. Richard discussed the history of vitamin D and reviewed some recent studies which have shown how vitamin D can influence the immune system. The relaxed venue was a perfect place to then engage in a wide ranging discussion about our current understanding of the importance of vitamin D in health and disease.
Professor Richard Mellanby from the VitDAL was presenting research from the lab to veterinarians at the Scottish Vet Fair this weekend. The event was held at the picturesque Mar Lodge, Braemar in Royal Deeside. The event was a great opportunity to meet some of the veterinarians who use the lab’s services as well as updating local practitioners about our recent work. The lectures were held in the remarkable Stag Ballroom which was spectacularly decorated with over 2000 stag skulls and antlers.
Prof Richard Mellanby from VitDAL was in Bologna this week at the European Society for Veterinary Endocrinology summer school. He presented at update on the lab’s recent research activities ranging from identification of novel vitamin D disorders in patients through to mechanistic mouse studies. The summer school is an excellent opportunity for veterinary endocrinologists to share recent research findings and is an important event which helps to facilitate wider collaboration within the veterinary endocrine field.
Professor Richard Mellanby was invited to present the recent research findings from the VitDAL at the ACVIM conference this week which is one of the largest veterinary conferences in the world. Prof Mellanby presented an overview of recent work which ranged from case studies describing how measuring vitamin D metabolites guided management of individual cases through to our murine experimental work. It also provided an opportunity for VitDAL to highlight our expanding capacity to measure vitamin D metabolites in samples from veterinary patients.
Professor Richard Mellanby from VitDAL was invited to deliver two oral presentations at the 21st Workshop on Vitamin D which was held in Barcelona this week. He presented some recent work from the VitDAL including our studies on how vitamin D modulates the function and phenotype of dendritic cells together with some of our recent analysis on the relationship between vitamin D status and ecological fitness in wild Soay sheep. As usual, the annual international conference brought together the leading researchers in the field of vitamin D biology and provided an excellent opportunity to hear about recent advances in the area.
The VitDAL have published their latest paper this week describing vitamin D receptor expression in dogs. Using immunohistochemistry we demonstrated that vitamin D receptor expression was highest in the kidney, duodenum, skin, ileum and spleen. The cells stained brown in the histology image on the left shows vitamin D receptor expression in the duodenum, the tissue which most intensely expressed vitamin D receptors. We also explored how vitamin D receptor expression varied in the presence of inflammation by comparing vitamin D receptor expression in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease and healthy controls. We discovered that vitamin D receptor expression was unchanged in the face of inflammation, a finding which is encouraging us to explore whether vitamin D may be used as an immuno-modulatory therapy in dogs with intestinal inflammation.
The VitDAL lab, in collaboration with colleagues at the Moredun Research Institute, has published a paper this week describing the effects of the active vitamin D metabolite 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D on bovine dendritic cells. We showed that dendritic cells generated in the presence 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin have a profoundly different phenotype than wildtype controls. The 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D conditioned dendritic cells also produced different amounts of cytokines and were less effective at activating T cells. Our findings highlight the need to understand more about how vitamin D status influences the development of an immune response in cattle.
The paper is available as open access publication at the following link