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Vitam Horm. 2011;86:261-86. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386960-9.00011-3.

Vitamin D deficiency and connective tissue disease.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Immunology, 3rd Department of Medicine, Medical and Health Science Center, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary.


Recently, the evidence linking vitamin D status as a potential environmental factor affecting autoimmune disease prevalence continues to accumulate. Beyond that the traditional known metabolic activities, vitamin D has been shown to modulate the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. The immune-regulatory role of vitamin D affects both the innate and adaptive immune responses contributing to the immune-tolerance of self-structures. Vitamin D deficiency skews the immunologic response towards loss of tolerance. Serum levels of vitamin D have been found to be significantly lower in several autoimmune or immune-mediated diseases than in the healthy population. Experimental animal models and clinical studies show that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 or vitamin D receptor (VDR) agonists can either prevent or suppress symptoms of type 1 diabetes, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erthyematosus and inflammatory bowel disease. The heading aims at reviewing the complex immune-regulatory role of vitamin D from the cellular and humoral level through animal models of autoimmune rheumatic diseases and representing the known contribution of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of connective tissue diseases. Increased vitamin D intakes might reduce the incidence and severity of autoimmune disorders besides reducing the rate of osteoporotic bone fracture.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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