Vitamin D is required for ILC3 derived IL-22 and protection from Citrobacter rodentium infection

Yang Ding Lin, Juhi Arora, Kevin Diehl, Stephanie A. Bora, Margherita T. Cantorna

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65 Scopus citations


Citrobacter rodentium is a gastrointestinal infection that requires early IL-22 from group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3) for resistance. The role of vitamin D in the clearance of C. rodentium infection was tested in vitamin D sufficient (D+) and vitamin D deficient (D-) wildtype (WT) and Cyp27B1 (Cyp) KO mice (unable to produce the high affinity vitamin D ligand 1,25(OH)2D, 1,25D). Feeding Cyp KO mice D- diets reduced vitamin D levels and prevented synthesis of 1,25D. D- (WT and Cyp KO) mice had fewer ILC3 cells and less IL-22 than D+ mice. D- Cyp KO mice developed a severe infection that resulted in the lethality of the mice by d14 post-infection. T and B cell deficient D- Rag KO mice also developed a severe and lethal infection with C. rodentium compared to D+ Rag KO mice. D- WT mice survived the infection but took significantly longer to clear the C. rodentium infection than D+ WT or D+ Cyp KO mice. Treating infected D- Cyp KO mice with IL-22 protected the mice from lethality. Treating the D- WT mice with 1,25D reconstituted the ILC3 cells in the colon and protected the mice from C. rodentium. IL-22 treatment of D- WT mice eliminated the need for vitamin D to clear the C. rodentium infection. Vitamin D is required for early IL-22 production from ILC3 cells and protection from enteric infection with C. rodentium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Issue numberJAN
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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