Journal of Immunology Research (2016-01-01)

Dietary Vitamin D Increases Percentages and Function of Regulatory T Cells in the Skin-Draining Lymph Nodes and Suppresses Dermal Inflammation

  • Shelley Gorman,
  • Sian Geldenhuys,
  • Melinda Judge,
  • Clare E. Weeden,
  • Jason Waithman,
  • Prue H. Hart

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2016


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Skin inflammatory responses in individuals with allergic dermatitis may be suppressed by dietary vitamin D through induction and upregulation of the suppressive activity of regulatory T (TReg) cells. Vitamin D may also promote TReg cell tropism to dermal sites. In the current study, we examined the capacity of dietary vitamin D3 to modulate skin inflammation and the numbers and activity of TReg cells in skin and other sites including lungs, spleen, and blood. In female BALB/c mice, dietary vitamin D3 suppressed the effector phase of a biphasic ear swelling response induced by dinitrofluorobenzene in comparison vitamin D3-deficient female BALB/c mice. Vitamin D3 increased the percentage of TReg (CD3+CD4+CD25+Foxp3+) cells in the skin-draining lymph nodes (SDLN). The suppressive activity of TReg cells in the SDLN, mesenteric lymph nodes, spleen, and blood was upregulated by vitamin D3. However, there was no difference in the expression of the naturally occurring TReg cell marker, neuropilin, nor the expression of CCR4 or CCR10 (skin-tropic chemokine receptors) on TReg cells in skin, SDLN, lungs, and airway-draining lymph nodes. These data suggest that dietary vitamin D3 increased the percentages and suppressive activity of TReg cells in the SDLN, which are poised to suppress dermal inflammation.