Immunomodulatory Role of Vitamin D: A Review

Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1108)


Vitamin D is well known for its classical hormonal action related to the maintenance of mineral and skeletal homeostasis. However, the discovery that vitamin D receptor (VDR) is expressed in most non-skeletal tissues points to its broad role in the human organism. Current literature emphasizes a multidirectional role of vitamin D, with a special focus on its immunomodulatory properties. As VDR and the enzyme 1-α-hydroxylase are expressed in most immune cells, vitamin D modulates the phagocytic activity of macrophages and natural killer cells. In addition, it induces the microbicidal activity of phagocytes. In contrast, vitamin D suppresses differentiation and maturation of antigen-presenting dendritic cells and B lymphocytes, and it inhibits proliferation of Th1 and Th17 cells. In this review we aimed to describe the current scientific discoveries on the role of vitamin D as immunomodulator.


Immune cells Immunity Immunomodulation Phagocytic activity Vitamin D Vitamin D receptor 


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Student’s Scientific Group at Department of Laboratory Diagnostics and Clinical Immunology of Developmental AgeMedical University of WarsawWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Diagnostics and Clinical Immunology of Developmental AgeMedical University of WarsawWarsawPoland

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