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Allergy. 2014 Feb;69(2):246-53. doi: 10.1111/all.12278. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

Vitamin D as an adjunct to subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy in asthmatic children sensitized to house dust mite.

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Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Research and Training Hospital, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey.



We aimed to investigate the efficacy, safety, and T regulatory cell response of vitamin D as an adjunct to allergen-specific immunotherapy (IT).


Fifty children with asthma and receiving pharmacotherapy were randomized into three groups as: subcutaneous IT (SCIT) along with vitamin D supplementation (650 U/day; n: 17), SCIT alone (n: 15), and pharmacotherapy alone (n: 18). All patients were evaluated at baseline, 6th and 12th months for scorings of symptoms and medication, skin prick testing, total IgE, specific IgE, and Der p 1-specific IgG4. In addition, D. pteronyssinus-induced CD4(+) CD25(+) FOXP3(+) T regulatory cell percentage, intracellular Foxp3 expression, and peripheral blood mononuclear cell IL-10 and TGF-β responses were assessed.


In the SCIT + vitamin D and SCIT alone groups, total asthma symptom score (TASS), total symptom score (TSS), and total medication scores (TMS) were significantly lower than pharmacotherapy group at the end of 1 year. While the comparison of delta values (Δ 6th and Δ 12th month - baseline) of those scores revealed no significant differences between the two IT groups, TASS at the 6th month was lower in the SCIT + vitamin D group compared with others. There was a significant and positive trend in the levels of Der p 1-specific IgG4 in both IT groups throughout the study period. Whereas the levels of Der p 1-induced IL-10 and TGF-β were similar between IT groups, the mean fluorescence intensity of Foxp3 was highest in the SCIT + vitamin D group compared with others at the 12th month. The rate of discontinuation of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) was 6/17 in SCIT + vitamin D, 3/15 in SCIT, and 0/18 in the pharmacotherapy group (P = 0.02).


Both SCIT groups fared better than pharmacotherapy alone at the end of 1 year. Although the clinical and immunologic outcomes were mostly similar between the two IT groups, some favorable outcomes of vitamin D warrant further investigation in more selected populations with varying doses as adjunct to IT.


asthma; children; immunotherapy; regulatory T cells; vitamin D

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