Production of cutaneous vitamin D3 after UVB radiation in reptiles and amphibians
Loos, B. de
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The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in the ability of different reptile and amphibian species to synthesize sufficient amounts of vitamin D in the skin. Skin tissue of 32 different species where collected from dead animals from a terrarium specialist. Wistar rat skin served as a positive control. Cholesterol, 7-DHC, and vitamin D levels were determined after UVB exposure at 37°C, and compared to non-irradiated skin. Overall, there was no significant effect of UVB irradiation on 7-DHC and vitamin D concentrations of the skin in different reptile and amphibian species. The relatively low cutaneous levels of the vitamin D precursor 7-DHC observed in this study suggest that most reptiles and amphibians are unable to synthesize sufficient amounts of vitamin D. However, some reptiles and amphibians species could be capable of synthesizing sufficient amounts of vitamin D in their skin. The results have to be taken into account when appropriate husbandry and food recommendations are given for these species when held under captive conditions.