The secosteroid, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3] plays a crucial role in regulating bone formation, remodeling and repair. Beyond its well-established role in skeletogenesis, gene-targeting studies support a physiological role for 1α,25(OH)2D3 in muscle development. There is evidence for expression of vitamin D receptor/vitamin D synthesizing enzyme/transport protein, local production of 1α,25(OH)2D3 and uptake of 25(OH)D3, implying the existence of vitamin D-endocrine system in myogenic cells. Recently, much interest has been devoted to the effects of 1α,25(OH)2D3 on myogenesis. Simply stated, 1α,25(OH)2D3 has potent antiproliferative activity on myoblasts and inhibits myoblast differentiation. Intriguingly, recent studies suggest that 1α,25(OH)2D3 may stimulate protein synthesis in myotubes and have a role in self-renewal of muscle stem cells. 1α,25(OH)2D3 regulates myogenesis probably through its genomic or nongenomic actions. Understanding how vitamin D signaling contributes to muscle homeostasis may provide a valuable insight into an effective intervention strategy for muscle disorders. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about a possible role of vitamin D in myogenesis.
Part of the book: A Critical Evaluation of Vitamin D