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Vitam Horm. 2011;86:401-28. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386960-9.00018-6.

Vitamin D as a T-cell modulator in multiple sclerosis.

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School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, keeping the T-cell compartment in a more tolerogenic state. Multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease in which an autoreactive T-cell response contributes to inflammation in the central nervous system, has been associated with vitamin D deficiency. The effects of vitamin D on the immune system are believed to be an important driver of this association. In this chapter, we elaborate on vitamin D as a modulator of the T-cell response. This discussion will be placed in the perspective of MS as a T-cell-mediated disease and in the perspective of the numerous association studies on vitamin D deficiency and multiple health outcomes. We conclude that there is a firm experimental and epidemiological basis supporting the model of vitamin D as a physiological immune modulator, on which intervention studies assessing clinical and immunological outcome measures should be designed.

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