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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2007 Jul;77(1):47-57. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Monocytes from type 2 diabetic patients have a pro-inflammatory profile. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) works as anti-inflammatory.

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Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Endocrinology, Catholic University of Leuven, Herestraat 49, Leuven, Belgium.


The exact factors contributing to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes remain elusive. Lately, it was suggested that inflammation and activation of the innate immune system could be linked to type 2 diabetes pathogenesis and also to the development of common diabetic complications, mainly atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of monocytes in this sub-clinical inflammatory state and test 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3), the active form of Vitamin D, as an anti-inflammatory agent. For this purpose, monocytes from type 2 diabetic patients were compared to monocytes from healthy controls and type 1 diabetic patients. The expression profile of inflammatory markers in freshly isolated and immune-stimulated monocytes was measured by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Type 2 diabetic patients showed significantly higher expression levels of TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1, IL-8, COX-2, ICAM-1 and B7-1 compared to controls and type 1 diabetic patients. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) was able to down-regulate the expression of TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1, and IL-8, confirming its immunomodulatory properties. From these data we concluded that monocytes from type 2 diabetic patients have a pro-inflammatory profile. In addition, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) was able to modulate inflammation in these monocytes.

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