Vitamin D in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Diane Kamen; Cynthia Aranow

Disclosures

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.

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