A number of in vitro studies suggest an immunoregulatory role of 1 alpha,25 Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3). The hormone inhibits production of interleukin-2 and immunoglobulin, and it blocks lymphocyte proliferation. Diverse effects on monocyte functions have been reported. However, immunological effects of 1,25-(OH)2D3 have not been substantiated in vivo. Six healthy male volunteers, aged 28-45 yr, were treated orally with 1,25-(OH)2D3 (tabl. Rocaltrol), 1 microgram twice daily for 7 days. Blood and urine samples were collected before and 7 days after initiation of treatment. Blood mononuclear cells from individuals treated with 1,25-(OH)2D3 showed a significantly reduced production of both interleukin-1 alpha (45%) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (58%) (both measured by ELISA). Interleukin-6, production, measured by the B9 cell assay, was reduced in five individuals (78%), and unchanged in one. There was no effect on the release of interleukin-1 beta. There was no measurable effect on interleukin-2, interferon gamma or immunoglobulin production, or on mitogen-induced proliferation of blood mononuclear cells. Serum-osteocalcin and urine excretion of calcium were increased to 131 and 173%, respectively. The serum-calcium and serum-phosphate levels were unchanged.
International Journal of Immunopharmacology, 1991, Vol 13, Issue 5, p. 525-30