Vitamin D and autoimmunity: is vitamin D status an environmental factor affecting autoimmune disease prevalence?

TitleVitamin D and autoimmunity: is vitamin D status an environmental factor affecting autoimmune disease prevalence?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsCantorna MT
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (New York, N.Y.)
Volume223
Issue3
Pagination230-3
Date Published2000 Mar
ISSN0037-9727
KeywordsAnimals, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Autoimmune Diseases, Autoimmunity, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Disease Models, Animal, Environment, Humans, Multiple Sclerosis, Prevalence, Vitamin D
Abstract

The environment in which the encounter of antigen with the immune system occurs determines whether tolerance, infectious immunity, or autoimmunity results. Geographical areas with low supplies of vitamin D (for example Scandinavia) correlate with regions with high incidences of multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and diabetes. The active form of vitamin D has been shown to suppress the development of autoimmunity in experimental animal models. Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency increases the severity of at least experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (mouse multiple sclerosis). Targets for vitamin D in the immune system have been identified, and the mechanisms of vitamin D-mediated immunoregulation are beginning to be understood. This review discusses the possibility that vitamin D status is an environmental factor, which by shaping the immune system affects the prevalence rate for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and juvenile diabetes.

Alternate JournalProc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med.
PubMed ID10719834
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