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Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111656

Vitamin D: Nutrient, Hormone, and Immunomodulator

Department of Medical Science, Gerontology and Bone Metabolic Diseases, University of Turin, 10126 Turin, Italy
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Received: 24 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 31 October 2018 / Published: 3 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Immune Function)
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Abstract

The classical functions of vitamin D are to regulate calcium-phosphorus homeostasis and control bone metabolism. However, vitamin D deficiency has been reported in several chronic conditions associated with increased inflammation and deregulation of the immune system, such as diabetes, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. These observations, together with experimental studies, suggest a critical role for vitamin D in the modulation of immune function. This leads to the hypothesis of a disease-specific alteration of vitamin D metabolism and reinforces the role of vitamin D in maintaining a healthy immune system. Two key observations validate this important non-classical action of vitamin D: first, vitamin D receptor (VDR) is expressed by the majority of immune cells, including B and T lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells; second, there is an active vitamin D metabolism by immune cells that is able to locally convert 25(OH)D3 into 1,25(OH)2D3, its active form. Vitamin D and VDR signaling together have a suppressive role on autoimmunity and an anti-inflammatory effect, promoting dendritic cell and regulatory T-cell differentiation and reducing T helper Th 17 cell response and inflammatory cytokines secretion. This review summarizes experimental data and clinical observations on the potential immunomodulating properties of vitamin D. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin D; immune system; gut microbiota; autoimmune diseases; T cells vitamin D; immune system; gut microbiota; autoimmune diseases; T cells
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Sassi, F.; Tamone, C.; D’Amelio, P. Vitamin D: Nutrient, Hormone, and Immunomodulator. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1656.

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