Clinical and experimental immunology

Vitamin D status is not associated with inflammatory cytokine levels during experimental human endotoxaemia.

PMID 23286950


Vitamin D has been shown to modulate innate immune responses in vitro and ex vivo; however, human in-vivo data are lacking. At high latitudes, seasonal vitamin D deficiency is common due to alternating ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation exposure. In the present study, we investigated whether levels of 25 hydroxyvitamin D(3) [25(OH)D(3) ] and its active metabolite 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2) D(3) ] are subject to seasonal variation and whether plasma levels of these vitamin D metabolites correlate with the in-vivo cytokine response during experimental human endotoxaemia [administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in healthy volunteers]. Plasma levels of 25(OH)D(3) and 1,25(OH)(2) D(3) were determined in samples obtained just prior to administration of an intravenous bolus of 2 ng/kg LPS (derived from Escherichia coli O:113) in 112 healthy male volunteers. In the same subjects, plasma levels of the inflammatory cytokines tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 were analysed serially after endotoxin administration. Plasma levels of 1,25(OH)(2) D(3) , but not 25(OH)D(3) , were subject to significant seasonal variation, with lower levels in autumn and winter. 25(OH)D(3) and 1,25(OH)(2) D(3) levels did not correlate with plasma cytokine responses. Furthermore, 25(OH)D(3) deficient subjects (< 50 nmol/l) displayed an identical cytokine response compared with sufficient subjects. In conclusion, plasma levels of vitamin D are not correlated with the LPS-induced TNF, IL-6 and IL-10 cytokine response in humans in vivo. These findings question the direct role of vitamin D in modulation of the innate immune response.

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3-epi-25-Hydroxyvitamin D3, 98% (CP)