Cutting edge: 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 is a direct inducer of antimicrobial peptide gene expression

Tian Tian Wang, Frederick P. Nestel, Véronique Bourdeau, Yoshihiko Nagai, Qiuyu Wang, Jie Liao, Luz Tavera-Mendoza, Roberto Lin, John H. Hanrahan, Sylvie Mader, John H. White*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1049 Scopus citations


The hormonal form of vitamin D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D 3 (1,25(OH)2D3), is an immune system modulator and induces expression of the TLR coreceptor CD14. 1,25(OH)2D 3 signals through the vitamin D receptor, a ligand-stimulated transcription factor that recognizes specific DNA sequences called vitamin D response elements. In this study, we show that 1,25(OH)2D3 is a direct regulator of antimicrobial innate immune responses. The promoters of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (camp) and defensin β2 (defB2) genes contain consensus vitamin D response elements that mediate 1,25(OH)2D3-dependent gene expression. 1,25(OH) 2D3 induces antimicrobial peptide gene expression in isolated human keratinocytes, monocytes and neutrophils, and human cell lines, and 1,25(OH)2D3 along with LPS synergistically induce camp expression in neutrophils. Moreover, 1,25(OH)2D3 induces corresponding increases in antimicrobial proteins and secretion of antimicrobial activity against pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 1,25(OH) 2D3 thus directly regulates antimicrobial peptide gene expression, revealing the potential of its analogues in treatment of opportunistic infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2909-2912
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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