Background: Vitamin D can be one of the candidate substances that are used as additional supplementation in the treatment of anxiety-related disorders in women with estrogen imbalance.
Materials and methods: The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of chronic cholecalciferol administration (1.0, 2.5 or 5.0 mg/kg/day, s.c.) on the anxiety-like behavior and monoamines levels in the rat hippocampus following ovariectomy in female rats. Cholecalciferol was given to ovariectomized (OVX) rats and OVX rats treated with 17β-estradiol (17β-E2, 0.5 μg/rat, s.c.). The anxiety-like behavior was assessed in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the light-dark tests (LDT), locomotor and grooming activities were assessed in the open-field test (OFT).
Results: Cholecalciferol in high doses alone or in combination with 17β-E2-induced anxiolytic-like effects in OVX and OVX rats treated with 17β-E2 as evidenced in the EPM and LDT tests, and increased grooming activity in the OFT test. We found that DA and 5-HT levels increased while 5-HT turnover in the hippocampus decreased in these groups of OVX rats.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that cholecalciferol in high doses has a marked anxiolytic-like effect due to an increase in the monoamines levels in the experimental rat model of estrogen deficiency.