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J Food Sci. 2010 Aug 1;75(6):H200-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01704.x.

Effects of vitamin D3 on expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and chemokines by monocytes.

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Dept. of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Medical Univ. Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


The association between vitamin D deficiency and asthma epidemic has been recognized. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and chemokines play important roles in pathogenesis of asthma. However, whether vitamin D has immunoregulatory function on TNF-alpha and chemokines expression in human monocytes is still unknown. The human monocytic cell line, THP-1 cells and human primary monocytes were pretreated with various concentration of 1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(3) for 2 h before stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Supernatants were collected 24 or 48 h after LPS stimulation. The levels of TNF-alpha, interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP-10)/CXCL10 (the Th1-related chemokine), macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC)/ CCL22 (the Th2-related chemokine), and interleukin 8 (IL-8)/CXCL8 (the neutrophil chemoattractant) were measured by ELISA. 1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(3) could significantly suppress TNF-alpha and IP-10 expression in LPS-stimulated THP-1 and human primary monocytes. However, 1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(3), especially in higher concentration, could significantly enhance MDC expression. 1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(3) had no significant effects on IL-8 expression. We found 1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(3) could significantly suppress TNF-alpha and Th1-related chemokine IP-10, which both play important roles in pathogenesis of severe refractory asthma and autoimmune diseases. However, 1alpha,25-(OH)(2)D(3) enhanced Th2-related chemokine MDC, which may result in Th2 inflammatory cell recruitment and thus adversely affect asthmatic patients. Although vitamin D has potential utility in the treatment of asthma and autoimmune diseases, excessive use of vitamin D may not be suitable in patients with Th2 allergic diseases.

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