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PLoS One. 2014 Apr 11;9(4):e94500. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094500. eCollection 2014.

Vitamin d deficiency in a multiethnic healthy control cohort and altered immune response in vitamin D deficient European-American healthy controls.

Author information

1
Arthritis and Clinical Immunology, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America; Departments of Medicine and Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America.
2
Arthritis and Clinical Immunology, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America.
3
Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, United States of America.
4
Division of Rheumatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, United States of America.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In recent years, vitamin D has been shown to possess a wide range of immunomodulatory effects. Although there is extensive amount of research on vitamin D, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency or the mechanism by which vitamin D regulates the human immune system. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency and the relationship between vitamin D and the immune system in healthy individuals.

METHODS:

Healthy individuals (n = 774) comprised of European-Americans (EA, n = 470), African-Americans (AA, n = 125), and Native Americans (NA, n = 179) were screened for 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels by ELISA. To identify the most noticeable effects of vitamin D on the immune system, 20 EA individuals with severely deficient (<11.3 ng/mL) and sufficient (>24.8 ng/mL) vitamin D levels were matched and selected for further analysis. Serum cytokine level measurement, immune cell phenotyping, and phosphoflow cytometry were performed.

RESULTS:

Vitamin D sufficiency was observed in 37.5% of the study cohort. By multivariate analysis, AA, NA, and females with a high body mass index (BMI, >30) demonstrate higher rates of vitamin D deficiency (p<0.05). Individuals with vitamin D deficiency had significantly higher levels of serum GM-CSF (p = 0.04), decreased circulating activated CD4+ (p = 0.04) and CD8+ T (p = 0.04) cell frequencies than individuals with sufficient vitamin D levels.

CONCLUSION:

A large portion of healthy individuals have vitamin D deficiency. These individuals have altered T and B cell responses, indicating that the absence of sufficient vitamin D levels could result in undesirable cellular and molecular alterations ultimately contributing to immune dysregulation.

PMID:
24727903
PMCID:
PMC3984168
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0094500
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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