Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased autoimmune response in healthy individuals and in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Lauren L. Ritterhouse, Sherry R. Crowe, Timothy B. Niewold, Diane L. Kamen, Susan R. Macwana, Virginia C. Roberts, Amy B. Dedeke, John B. Harley, R. Hal Scofield, Joel M. Guthridge, Judith A. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

153 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Vitamin D deficiency is widespread and has been associated with many chronic diseases, including autoimmune disorders. A study was undertaken to explore the impact of low vitamin D levels on autoantibody production in healthy individuals, as well as B cell hyperactivity and interferon α (IFNα) activity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: Serum samples from 32 European American female patients with SLE and 32 matched controls were tested for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, lupus-associated autoantibodies and serum IFNα activity. Isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells were tested for intracellular phospho-ERK 1/2 as a measure of B cell activation status. Results: Vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D <20 ng/ml) was significantly more frequent among patients with SLE (n=32, 69%) and antinuclear antibody (ANA)-positive controls (n=14, 71%) compared with ANA-negative controls (n=18, 22%) (OR 7.7, 95% CI 2.0 to 29.4, p=0.003 and OR 8.8, 95% CI 1.8 to 43.6, p=0.011, respectively). Patients with high B cell activation had lower mean (SD) 25(OH)D levels than patients with low B cell activation (17.2 (5.1) vs 24.2 (3.9) ng/ml; p=0.009). Patients with vitamin D deficiency also had higher mean (SD) serum IFNα activity than patients without vitamin D deficiency (3.5 (6.6) vs 0.3 (0.3); p=0.02). Conclusions: The observation that ANA-positive healthy controls are significantly more likely to be deficient in vitamin D than ANA-negative healthy controls, together with the finding that vitamin D deficiency is associated with certain immune abnormalities in SLE, suggests that vitamin D plays an important role in autoantibody production and SLE pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1569-1574
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of the rheumatic diseases
Volume70
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased autoimmune response in healthy individuals and in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Ritterhouse, L. L., Crowe, S. R., Niewold, T. B., Kamen, D. L., Macwana, S. R., Roberts, V. C., Dedeke, A. B., Harley, J. B., Scofield, R. H., Guthridge, J. M., & James, J. A. (2011). Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased autoimmune response in healthy individuals and in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Annals of the rheumatic diseases, 70(9), 1569-1574. https://doi.org/10.1136/ard.2010.148494