4 years ago

Vitamin D signaling in intestinal innate immunity and homeostasis

The lumen of the gut hosts a plethora of microorganisms that participate in food assimilation, inactivation of harmful particles and in vitamin synthesis. On the other hand, enteric flora, a number of food antigens, and toxins are capable of triggering immune responses causing inflammation, which, when unresolved, may lead to chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is important, therefore, to contain the gut bacteria within the lumen, control microbial load and composition, as well as ensure adequate innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogenic threats. There is growing evidence that vitamin D signaling has impacts on all these aspects of intestinal physiology, contributing to healthy enteric homeostasis. VD was first discovered as the curative agent for nutritional rickets, and its classical actions are associated with calcium absorption and bone health. However, vitamin D exhibits a number of extra-skeletal effects, particularly in innate immunity. Notably, it stimulates production of pattern recognition receptors, anti-microbial peptides, and cytokines, which are at the forefront of innate immune responses. They play a role in sensing the microbiota, in preventing excessive bacterial overgrowth, and complement the actions of vitamin D signaling in enhancing intestinal barrier function. Vitamin D also favours tolerogenic rather than inflammogenic T cell differentiation and function. Compromised innate immune function and overactive adaptive immunity, as well as defective intestinal barrier function, have been associated with IBD. Importantly, observational and intervention studies support a beneficial role of vitamin D supplementation in patients with Crohn's disease, a form of IBD. This review summarizes the effects of vitamin D signaling on barrier integrity and innate and adaptive immunity in the gut, as well as on microbial load and composition. Collectively, studies to date reveal that vitamin D signaling has widespread effects on gut homeostasis, and provide a mechanistic basis for potential therapeutic benefit of vitamin D supplementation in IBD.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S030372071730223X

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