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Highly Accessed Editorial

Vitamin D or hormone D deficiency in autoimmune rheumatic diseases, including undifferentiated connective tissue disease

Maurizio Cutolo

Author Affiliations

Research Laboratory and Acadenic Clinical Unit of Rheumatology department of Internal Medicine, University of Genova, Viale Bnedetto XV, 6 161 32 Genova, Italy

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:123  doi:10.1186/ar2552


See related research article by Zold et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/10/5/R123

Published: 2 December 2008

Abstract

Epidemiological evidence indicates a significant association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased incidence of autoimmune diseases. The presence of vitamin D receptors in the cells of the immune system and the fact that several of these cells produce the vitamin D hormone suggested that vitamin D could have immunoregulatory properties, and now potent immuno-mudulatory activities on dendritic cells, Th1 and Th17 cells, as well as B cells have been confirmed. Patients with undifferentiated connective tissue disease also show vitamin D deficiency and, interestingly, patients who progress into connective tissue diseases have lower vitamin D levels than those who remain in the undifferentiated connective tissue disease stage.