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Scand J Immunol. 1993 Dec;38(6):535-40.

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 exerts opposing effects to IL-4 on MHC class-II antigen expression, accessory activity, and phagocytosis of human monocytes.

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Department of Immunology, University of Goettingen, Germany.


To investigate the differentiation and activation of monocytes, the combined effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (D3) and IL-4 on human blood monocytes were examined with respect to expression of MHC class-II antigens, accessory activity, and phagocytic capacity. IL-4 was reported to upregulate the expression of MHC class-II antigens and accessory activity of monocytes. The experiments described here demonstrate that D3 inhibits the expression of all three subtypes of MHC class-II antigens (HLA-DR, -DP and -DQ) as well as the accessory activity of monocytes, both in a dose- and time-dependent manner. However, D3 enhances the immunoglobulin- and complement-dependent phagocytosis by monocytes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. When monocytes are treated with both IL-4 and D3, the effects of D3 are reverted by IL-4, suggesting that IL-4 induces the development of monocytes into accessory cells, whereas D3 stimulates differentiation of monocytes into classical macrophages. These findings provide further evidence for the contention that, depending on defined stimuli, monocytes may develop either into accessory cells or into classical macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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