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Open AccessArticle

Low Levels of Vitamin D Promote Memory B Cells in Lupus

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA
Lerner Research Institute, Department of Inflammation and Immunity, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA
Robert J. Tomsich Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA
Department of Rheumatologic and Immunologic Disease, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 291;
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 19 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Vitamin D in Chronic Diseases)
Background: Vitamin D deficiency is a known risk factor for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), yet clinical trials have not demonstrated efficacy and few studies have utilized lupus models to understand the mechanism underlying this relationship. The Act1-/- mouse is a spontaneous model of lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome, characterized by increased Th17 cells and peripheral B cell expansion. Vitamin D3 has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces Th17 cells and impairs B cell differentiation/activation. Therefore, we assessed how varying amounts of vitamin D3 affected lupus-like disease in the Act1-/- mouse. Methods: Act1-/- mice were fed either low/restricted (0 IU/kg), normal (2 IU/kg), or high/supplemented (10 IU/kg) vitamin D3 chow for 9 weeks, after which lupus-like features were analyzed. Results: While we found no differences in Th17 cells between vitamin D3 groups, vitamin D3 restriction specifically promoted memory B cell development, accompanied by elevated levels of serum IgM, IgG1, IgG3, and anti-dsDNA IgG. A similar significant negative association between serum vitamin D and memory B cells was confirmed in a cohort of SLE patients. Conclusion: Low levels of vitamin D3 are associated with elevated levels of memory B cells in an animal model of lupus and well-controlled SLE patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; vitamin D3; memory B cells; Th17 cells; Act1 Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; vitamin D3; memory B cells; Th17 cells; Act1
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Yamamoto, E.A.; Nguyen, J.K.; Liu, J.; Keller, E.; Campbell, N.; Zhang, C.-J.; Smith, H.R.; Li, X.; Jørgensen, T.N. Low Levels of Vitamin D Promote Memory B Cells in Lupus. Nutrients 2020, 12, 291.

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