Vitamin D May Help B Cell Mediated Auto Immune Diseases (SLE)

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1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)) can modulate immune responses, but whether it directly affects B cell function is unknown. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, especially those with antinuclear Abs and increased disease activity, had decreased 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) levels, suggesting that vitamin D might play a role in regulating autoantibody production. To address this, we examined the effects of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) on B cell responses and found that it inhibited the ongoing proliferation of activated B cells and induced their apoptosis, whereas initial cell division was unimpeded. The generation of plasma cells and postswitch memory B cells was significantly inhibited by 1,25(OH)(2)D(3), although the up-regulation of genetic programs involved in B cell differentiation was only modestly affected. B cells expressed mRNAs for proteins involved in vitamin D activity, including 1 alpha-hydroxylase, 24-hydroxylase, and the vitamin D receptor, each of which was regulated by 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) and/or activation. Importantly, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) up-regulated the expression of p27, but not of p18 and p21, which may be important in regulating the proliferation of activated B cells and their subsequent differentiation. These results indicate that 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) may play an important role in the maintenance of B cell homeostasis and that the correction of vitamin D deficiency may be useful in the treatment of B cell-mediated autoimmune disorders.

Comment: The role of this secosteroid in terms of immune modulation is becoming increasingly understood. The relevance of Vit D supplementation in those patients identified as being insufficient is a therapy still worthy of exploration. The current status of Vit in multiple conditions may be explored at the Vit D council web site. Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.

Chen S, Sims GP, Chen XX, Gu YY, Chen S, Lipsky PE Modulatory effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on human B cell differentiation. .J Immunol. 2007 Aug 1;179(3):1634-47. View Abstract

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