The Association of Early Dietary Supplementation with Vitamin E with the Incidence of Ulcerative Dermatitis in Mice on a C57BL/6 Background
The purpose of this study was to ascertain if prophylactic ingestion of a diet rich in vitamin E would prevent or impede the development of ulcerative dermatitis in mice on a C57BL/6 background. Mice were fed after weaning a standard mouse diet, vitamin E (99 IU/kg), or a mouse diet fortified with vitamin E (3000 IU/ kg). Cases of ulcerative dermatitis were recorded by individuals (i.e. aware of) the diet assignment. The incidence of ulcerative dermatitis in a retrospective cohort of mice on standard diet was compared with the group on the diet fortified with vitamin E. Age was associated with ulcerative dermatitis in standard diet and vitamin E fortified diet groups, r = 0.43, p-value < 0.0001 and r = 0.18, p-value < 0.02, respectively. The average age of incidence for ulcerative dermatitis in the mice fed the standard diet was 89 weeks and for the mice fed the vitamin E diet it was 41 weeks. The unadjusted odds ratio comparing the incidence of ulcerative dermatitis between the two diet groups was 4.6 with a 95% confidence interval of (2.44, 8.58), x2 p-value < 0.0001. Therefore, there was an association between the diets and ulcerative dermatitis, with the mice on the vitamin E fortified diet having almost five times the odds of having ulcerative dermatitis compared with mice on the standard diet. Incidence of ulcerative dermatitis was not influenced by sex or genotype. Our study results show that a diet fortified in vitamin E initiated at weaning does not prevent or impede the development of ulcerative dermatitis in mice on a C57BL/6 background and on the contrary accelerate development when administered to young mice.