Vitamin D reduces the differentiation and expansion of Th17 cells in young asthmatic children.

Research paper by Agnes A Hamzaoui, Anissa A Berraïes, Besma B Hamdi, Wajih W Kaabachi, Jamel J Ammar, Kamel K Hamzaoui

Indexed on: 17 Aug '14Published on: 17 Aug '14Published in: Immunobiology


Vitamin D [25(OH)D3] deficiency has been associated with asthma as in many inflammatory and autoimmune pathologies; however, there is still a lack of data about the effects of administration of vitamin D in immune regulation in young asthmatic patients. In this study, we investigated its inhibitory effect on the immune response in young asthmatic patients and the possible mechanisms involved. Peripheral blood CD4(+) T cells from 10 asthmatic patients and 10 healthy controls were cultured under Th17 polarizing conditions in the presence or absence of [25(OH)D3], IL-17 cytokine production was determined by ELISA and flow cytometry. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of several factors related to Th17 cell function was determined by real-time PCR. The effect of [25(OH)D3]-treated dendritic cells (DCs) on CD4(+) T cell response was determined by ELISA and flow cytometry. Stimulation of naive CD4(+) T cells under Th17 polarizing conditions showed a higher Th17 cell differentiation in asthmatic patients than healthy controls. The addition of [25(OH)D3] significantly inhibited Th17 cell differentiation both in patients [P<0.001] and in normal controls [P=0.001] in a dose-dependent way. [25(OH)D3] was able to inhibit the gene expression of RORC, IL-17, IL-23R, and CCR6. [25(OH)D3]-treated DCs significantly inhibited IL-17 production [P=0.002] and decreased the percentage of CD4(+)IL-17(+) [P=0.007] in young asthmatics. The findings suggest that the inhibitory effect of [25(OH)D3] on the Th17 response was mediated via both T cells and DCs. DCs pathway is involved in the direct inhibition of 25(OH)D3 on Th17 cell differentiation in young asthmatics.