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Friday, February 17, 2017

What is the therapeutic potential of vitamin D in autoimmune disease?

Abstract (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"Over the last three decades, it has become clear that the role of vitamin D goes beyond the regulation of calcium homeostasis and bone health. An important extraskeletal effect of vitamin D is the modulation of the immune system. In the context of autoimmune diseases, this is illustrated by correlations of vitamin D status and genetic polymorphisms in the vitamin D receptor with the incidence and severity of the disease. These correlations warrant investigation into the potential use of vitamin D in the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases. In recent years, several clinical trials have been performed to investigate the therapeutic value of vitamin D in multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, type I diabetes, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Additionally, a second angle of investigation has focused on unraveling the molecular pathways used by vitamin D in order to find new potential therapeutic targets. This review will not only provide an overview of the clinical trials that have been performed but also discuss the current knowledge about the molecular mechanisms underlying the immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D and how these advances can be used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases."

Covered topics (the letter size corresponds to the frequency of mentioning in the text):

Conclusion (as presented by the authors of the scientific work):

"Although various studies have shown a beneficial effect of cholecalciferol supplementation in autoimmune diseases, there are also studies that do not find any effect on disease parameters. This might be due to the supplementation strategy or the subjects included in the study, which are issues that should be addressed in properly designed multicenter clinical trials.

However, it is also possible that systemic cholecalciferol supplementation is not sufficient to establish effects in every patient. Therefore, another way to use the immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D to the advantage of patients with autoimmune diseases is to mimic the effects by targeting important pathways within immune cells. In order to do this, it is crucial to understand the working mechanisms of 1,25(OH)2D3. In the coming years, attention should be paid toward unraveling these molecular mechanisms to optimize the therapeutic potential of vitamin D."

The referenced scientific work at PubMed:

Dankers W, Colin EM, van Hamburg JP, Lubberts E. Vitamin D in Autoimmunity:
Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential. Front Immunol. 2017 Jan 20;7:697.
doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00697. Review. PubMed PMID: 28163705; PubMed Central
PMCID: PMC5247472.

Full-text access:


Prof. Atanas G. Atanasov (Dr. habil., PhD)

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