Comparison of vitamin D metabolites in wild and captive baboons.

TitleComparison of vitamin D metabolites in wild and captive baboons.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsZiegler, TE, Kapoor, A, Binkley, NC, Rice, KS, Rogers, J, Jolly, CJ, Phillips-Conroy, JE
JournalAm J Primatol
Date Published2018 Dec
KeywordsAfrica South of the Sahara, Aging, Animal Distribution, Animals, Animals, Wild, Animals, Zoo, Dietary Supplements, Male, Papio, Skin Pigmentation, Species Specificity, Vitamin D, Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D adequacy is essential for multiple physiologic processes. With limited exposure to sunlight for vitamin D synthesis, captive primates are supplemented with vitamin D (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D metabolite data from wild primates living indigenously could suggest optimum levels. The purpose of this study was to: 1) to explore whether baboons, a speciose genus whose members have significant exposed skin, coat color variation and wide geographical distribution, mirrors the skin pigmentation-vitamin D relationship found in humans; 2) compare vitamin D metabolite levels in wild and captive members of the same or similar baboon species; and 3) apply a recently developed method currently used in humans for measuring multiple vitamin D metabolites as a panel to explore if/how these metabolites can inform us on vitamin D sufficiency. Serum samples from males of three baboon species in the wild: Papio anubis (olive baboon, dark exposed skin), P. cynocephalus (yellow baboon, brown exposed skin), and P. hamadryas (hamadryas baboon, pink exposed skin), were compared with vitamin D supplemented captive olive baboons with sun exposure. Liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) measured vitamin D and its main metabolites. Cholecalciferol, 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D ), and 24,25 dihydroxyvitamin D (24,25(OH) D ), showed significant differences by species. The levels of cholecalciferol due to supplements in the captive olive baboons did not convert to higher 25(OH)D while the wild olive baboons exhibited the lowest levels for both cholecalciferol and 25(OH)D . Further metabolic conversion of 25(OH)D to 24,25(OH) D indicated that all baboons had more similar conversion ratios and these were within the same range found for humans that are depicted as having adequate vitamin D levels. This study provided evidence that exposed skin color does influence vitamin D3 levels, with lower levels in darker skinned species, but these differences are eliminated in the downstream metabolite conversion indicating strong regulatory control.

Alternate JournalAm J Primatol
PubMed ID30537386
PubMed Central IDPMC6390488
Grant ListBNS83-03506 / / National Science Foundation / International
NSF96-15150 / / National Science Foundation / International
UL1 TR002373 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
P51 OD011133 / OD / NIH HHS / United States
P51 OD011106 / OD / NIH HHS / United States

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