Vitamin D attenuates lung injury via stimulating epithelial repair, reducing epithelial cell apoptosis and inhibits TGF-β induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition

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  • ShengXing Zheng
  • JingXiang Yang
  • Xin Hu
  • Ming Li
  • Qian Wang
  • ShengWei Jin

Colleges, School and Institutes


Vitamin D regulates cell proliferation, inhibits cytokines release at sites of inflammation and reduces inflammatory responses. In this study, the aim was to investigate whether exogenous vitamin D attenuates LPS-induced lung injury via modulating epithelial cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). Murine and in vitro primary type II alveolar epithelial cell work were included in this study. In vivo, mice were mildly vitamin D deficient, 0.1, 1.5, 10mg/kg 1,25(OH)2-vitamin D3 or 25(OH)-vitamin D3 was administrated by means of an intra-gastric injection for 14 days pre-intra-tracheal (IT) LPS, which remarkedly promoted alveolar epithelial type II cells proliferation, inhibited ATII cells apoptosis and inhibited EMT, with the outcome of attenuated LPS-induced lung injury. In vitro, vitamin D stimulated epithelial cell scratch wound repair, reduced primary ATII cells apoptosis as well. Vitamin D promoted primary human ATII cells proliferation through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and activation of vitamin D receptor (VDR). Moreover, vitamin D inhibited EMT in response to TGF-β, which was vitamin D receptor dependent. In conclusion, vitamin D attenuates lung injury via stimulating ATII cells proliferation and migration, reducing epithelial cell apoptosis and inhibits TGF-β induced EMT. Together, these results suggest that vitamin D has therapeutic potential for the resolution of ARDS.


Original languageEnglish
Article number113955
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
Early online date3 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome, Alveolar type II cells, Epithelial to mesenchymal transition, Vitamin D, Wound repair and apoptosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas