Murine CD8+ T cells but not macrophages express the vitamin D 1α-hydroxylase

Jot Hui Ooi, Kaitlin L. McDaniel, Veronika Weaver, Margherita T. Cantorna

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54 Scopus citations


The active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] is synthesized by the 1α-hydroxylase, which is encoded by the Cyp27B1 gene. Using transgenic mice that have replaced the Cyp27B1 gene with the bacterial lacZ reporter gene (β-galactosidase), the inflammatory conditions that induce Cyp27B1 in the immune system were probed. A variety of stimuli including lipopolysaccharide, anti-CD3 or PMA/ionomycin were used to stimulate splenocytes and bone marrow derived macrophage in vitro. Only anti-CD3 stimulation resulted in a low induction of β-galactosidase activity in the spleen, indicating that T cells might be a source of Cyp27B1. In vivo, challenge with lipopolysaccharide, α-galactosylceramide, and Listeria monocytogenes failed to induce β-galactosidase activity outside of the kidneys. During more prolonged and severe inflammation there was staining in both the lungs and the gastrointestinal tract for β-galactosidase. Furthermore, wild-type reconstitution of the hematopoietic cell population in Cyp27B1 KO mice protected the mice from experimental colitis. T cell production of Cyp27B1 activity was shown to be from the CD8+ but not the CD4+ T cell population. CD8+ T cells expressed the reporter gene only after 48 h of stimulation. The data is consistent with a model where CD8+ T cells are activated to produce Cyp27B1 and 1,25(OH)2D3 that serves to turn off the local immune response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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