Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 29–36 | Cite as

The Impact of Vitamin D on Regulatory T Cells

  • Emma S. ChambersEmail author
  • Catherine M. Hawrylowicz


Epidemiologic studies highlight the increasing prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency and its association with an increased risk of autoimmune diseases and poor respiratory function, including asthma. These and additional studies have raised interest in the immunomodulatory properties of vitamin D beyond its well-established role in calcium homeostasis and bone health. Vitamin D has been shown to influence the function of cells intrinsic to innate and adaptive immunity. This review discusses recent evidence that vitamin D promotes—both directly and indirectly—regulatory or suppressor T-cell populations with the capacity to inhibit inappropriate immune responses that cause disease, suggesting that this property may in part underpin the epidemiologic findings.


Regulatory T cells Interleukin-10 FoxP3 Vitamin D insufficiency Tolerance 



Miss Chambers is a recipient of a Medical Research Council British Thoracic Society Capacity Building PhD studentship. The authors have received financial support from Asthma UK and the Department of Health via the National Institute for Health Research comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre award to Guy’s and St. Thomas’ National Health Service Foundation Trust in partnership with King’s College London and King’s College Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust.


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Research Council and Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of AsthmaKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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