A plethora of investigations demonstrated that vitamin D (VitD) has a broad immunomodulatory potential. It induces tolerogenic dendritic cells in vitro leading to the development of regulatory T cells that have a key role in immunomodulation of autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies showed that many MS patients present lower serum levels of VitD than healthy subjects. In addition, VitD supplementation has been associated with a reduced relative risk of developing MS. Considering the alterations in VitD levels in patients and also the immunomodulatory properties of VitD, it would be interesting to evaluate VitD potential as a tolerogenic adjuvant in experimental models of MS. In this context, our research team has been investigating strategies employing VitD to establish an in vivo tolerance state toward central nervous system antigens in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We observed that the association between a myelin peptide and VitD determined both therapeutic and prophylactic effects on EAE development.
Part of the book: A Critical Evaluation of Vitamin D