Vitamin A deficiency does not influence longitudinal growth in mice

Alessia Sagazio, Roseann Piantedosi, Maria Alba, William S. Blaner, Roberto Salvatori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Growth hormone (GH) stimulates longitudinal growth, directly and indirectly, through the mediation of circulating and locally produced insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). The exact role of individual vitamins in modulating GH secretion or action, and somatic growth in general, is still not completely understood. It has been suggested that vitamin A (VA) and its physiologic active metabolite retinoic acid influence longitudinal growth by promoting the differentiation of pituitary cells toward GH-secreting cells and by stimulating secretion of GH. Accordingly, epidemiologic studies have shown that short children have lower VA intake than do children with normal stature. Methods: To determine whether VA deficiency causes impairment of GH secretion, we have investigated the effect of a severely VA-deficient diet on growth in mice. Ten male mice born from mothers fed with VA-deficient diet since conception were maintained on a VA-deficient diet until the end of week 8 of life. Ten male mice born from mothers fed with a VA-sufficient diet and receiving a normal diet after weaning served as the control group. At the end of the study, we measured animals' weight and length, body composition, tibia and femur lengths, liver retinol and retinyl esters storages, serum IGF-1, serum thyroxine, serum GH, and pituitary GH mRNA levels. Results: Despite evidence of significant VA deficiency, we observed no effect on longitudinal growth or changes in pituitary GH mRNA, serum thyroxine, serum GH, or serum IGF-1 levels. Conclusion: VA deficiency does not negatively affect longitudinal growth and pituitary GH content and action in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-488
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007


  • Growth hormone
  • Growth regulation
  • Vitamin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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