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Nutr Rev. 2008 Oct;66(10 Suppl 2):S116-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00094.x.

Vitamin D's role in cell proliferation and differentiation.

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  • 1The Western New York Veterans Administration Medical Center, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York 14215, USA.


Vitamin D has pleiotropic effects that go beyond its traditional role in calcium homeostasis. Hundreds of genes with vitamin D receptor response elements directly or indirectly influence cell cycling and proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Vitamin D compounds also have effects on cell function that are nongenomic. The noncalcemic actions of vitamin D influence normal and pathological cell growth, carcinogenesis, immune function, and cardiovascular physiology. This review examines many of the various mechanisms by which vitamin D alters cellular growth and differentiation and explores cell-specific factors that influence responsiveness to vitamin D.

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