Studies over the last two decades have revealed profound immunomodulatory aspects of vitamin D on various aspects of the immune system. This review will provide an overview of Vitamin D metabolism, a description of dendritic cell subsets, and highlight recent advances on the effects of vitamin D on dendritic cell function, maturation, cytokine production and antigen presentation. The active form of vitamin D, 1,25(OH)2
, has important immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. Specifically, the 1,25(OH)2
complex can affect the maturation and migration of many dendritic cell subsets, conferring a special immunoregulatory role as well as tolerogenic properties affecting cytokine and chemokine production. Furthermore, there have been many recent studies demonstrating the effects of Vitamin D on allergic disease and autoimmunity. A clear understanding of the effects of the various forms of Vitamin D will provide new opportunities to improve human health.
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