Vitamin D in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Diane Kamen; Cynthia Aranow


Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2008;20(5):532-537. 

In This Article

Vitamin D in Animal Models of Autoimmune Disease

Data from animal models of autoimmune disease support a regulatory in-vivo role for vitamin D in preventing and ameliorating autoimmunity. Administration of vitamin D in vivo to rats and mice prevents the onset of experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), the rodent model of multiple sclerosis (MS),[26,27] and slows the progression of established disease.[27,28] Vitamin D additionally shows a therapeutic effect in collagen-induced arthritis,[29] the non-obese diabetic mouse,[29,30] the IL-10 knockout mouse, a model of inflammatory bowel disease[31,32] as well as multiple animal models of transplantation.[33] Synergistic effects with immunosuppressives, including cyclosporine A, sirolimus and mycophenolate mofetil, have been noted in murine models of graft tolerance.[34]

Vitamin D has been studied in mouse models of SLE. Administration of vitamin D to MRL/lpr mice resulted in a loss of dermatologic manifestations of SLE-like disease but with no significant effects upon renal disease in one study,[35] although improved renal disease and survival were observed in another.[36] In a third study of MRL/lpr mice, the effect of 1,25D was similar to that of high-dose corticosteroids with a significant prevention of disease.[37] A single study of treatment with vitamin D in NZB/W mice reported no prolongation of survival or other beneficial effects.[38] Limited assessment of disease, inadequate dosing and small sample sizes may account for the lack of observed efficacy.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: