Vitamin D or hormone D deficiency in autoimmune rheumatic diseases, including undifferentiated connective tissue disease
Research Laboratory and Acadenic Clinical Unit of Rheumatology department of Internal Medicine, University of Genova, Viale Bnedetto XV, 6 161 32 Genova, Italy
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:123 doi:10.1186/ar2552
See related research article by Zold et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/10/5/R123Published: 2 December 2008
Epidemiological evidence indicates a significant association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased incidence of autoimmune diseases. The presence of vitamin D receptors in the cells of the immune system and the fact that several of these cells produce the vitamin D hormone suggested that vitamin D could have immunoregulatory properties, and now potent immuno-mudulatory activities on dendritic cells, Th1 and Th17 cells, as well as B cells have been confirmed. Patients with undifferentiated connective tissue disease also show vitamin D deficiency and, interestingly, patients who progress into connective tissue diseases have lower vitamin D levels than those who remain in the undifferentiated connective tissue disease stage.