Vitamin D deficiency impacts on expression of toll-like receptor-2 and cytokine profile: a pilot study

Samar Ojaimi, Narelle A Skinner, Boyd Josef Gimnicher Strauss, Vijaya Sundararajan, Ian John Woolley, Kumar Visvanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Vitamin D is believed to play an important role outside the endocrine system in the regulation of the immune system, and in cellular proliferation and differentiation. The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of vitamin D levels on innate immunity. METHODS: Participants for this prospective, longitudinal study were recruited amongst otherwise healthy staff of a large hospital in Victoria, Australia. Those fulfilling the inclusion criteria, including a vitamin D level of 100 nmol/L post supplementation (n=11), TLR2 expression on PBMCs increased significantly, with no change noted in TLR4 or CD86 expression. Stimulation of vitamin D deficient samples with TLR ligands produced a number of proinflammatory cytokines, which were significantly reduced upon vitamin D normalisation. In patients whose levels returned to a deficient level at 3 months despite ongoing low-level supplementation, an increase in the pro-inflamamtory state returned. This suggests that vitamin D may play an important role in ensuring an appropriate baseline pro-inflammatory state. CONCLUSIONS: This ex-vivo pilot study adds clinical evidence supporting a possibly important role for vitamin D in innate immunity. If confirmed, this unique clinical study has potentially significant implications for the treatment of a variety of inflammatory conditions, where achieving optimal vitamin D levels may help reduce inflammation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1 (Art #: 176)
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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