Why do T cells express the vitamin D receptor?

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Vitamin D is an important regulator of immune function. T cells express the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and have been shown to be direct and indirect vitamin D targets. Why should T cells be responsive to vitamin D? The data suggest that expression of the VDR is required for the development of two cell types, NKT cells and CD8αα T cells, which inhibit autoimmunity. In addition, effector T cell cytokine production is regulated by vitamin D. Available evidence suggests that NKT and CD8αα T cells express the VDR as part of the selection process to protect against the generation of autoimmunity, particularly in the gut.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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