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Respir Res. 2011 Mar 18;12:31. doi: 10.1186/1465-9921-12-31.

The role of vitamin D in pulmonary disease: COPD, asthma, infection, and cancer.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division for Pulmonary Diseases, Philipps-Universtät Marburg, 35043 Marburg, Germany.

Abstract

The role of vitamin D (VitD) in calcium and bone homeostasis is well described. In the last years, it has been recognized that in addition to this classical function, VitD modulates a variety of processes and regulatory systems including host defense, inflammation, immunity, and repair. VitD deficiency appears to be frequent in industrialized countries. Especially patients with lung diseases have often low VitD serum levels. Epidemiological data indicate that low levels of serum VitD is associated with impaired pulmonary function, increased incidence of inflammatory, infectious or neoplastic diseases. Several lung diseases, all inflammatory in nature, may be related to activities of VitD including asthma, COPD and cancer. The exact mechanisms underlying these data are unknown, however, VitD appears to impact on the function of inflammatory and structural cells, including dendritic cells, lymphocytes, monocytes, and epithelial cells. This review summarizes the knowledge on the classical and newly discovered functions of VitD, the molecular and cellular mechanism of action and the available data on the relationship between lung disease and VitD status.

PMID:
21418564
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3071319
Free PMC Article

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