Vitamin D and the immune system: new perspectives on an old theme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

357 Citations (Scopus)


Interaction with the immune system is one of the most well-established nonclassic effects of vitamin D. For many years this was considered to be a manifestation of granulomatous diseases such sarcoidosis, in which synthesis of active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)) is known to be dysregulated. However, recent reports have supported a role for 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) in mediating normal function of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Crucially, these effects seem to be mediated via localized autocrine or paracrine synthesis of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) from precursor 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3), the main circulating metabolite of vitamin D. The ability of vitamin D to influence normal human immunity is highly dependent on the vitamin D status of individuals, and may lead to aberrant response to infection or autoimmunity in those who are lacking vitamin D. The potential health significance of this has been underlined by increasing awareness of impaired vitamin D status in populations across the globe. This article describes some of the recent developments with respect to vitamin D and the immune system, and possible clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-79, table of contents
JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Crohn Disease
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Macrophages
  • Mice
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vitamin D


Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin D and the immune system: new perspectives on an old theme'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this