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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Calcitriol and its synthetic analogue MC 903 inhibit the interleukin-2-induced migration of human lymphocytes.

Sarcoidosis is characterized by the accumulation of activated lymphocytes in the lungs and other organs and by the spontaneous production of the active form of vitamin D, calcitriol. We hypothesized that calcitriol may modulate the responsiveness of human lymphocytes to the relevant biologic mediator, interleukin-2 (IL-2). After culture for 48 h with phytohemagglutinin, human peripheral blood lymphocytes migrated through nitrocellulose filters, secured in microchemotaxis chambers, in response to IL-2. When calcitriol at 1 nM was included in the cultures, the migratory response to IL-2 was completely abrogated. This inhibitory effect was seen despite the fact that cultured lymphocytes continued to express the IL-2 receptor and other activation markers. A similar but more rapid effect could be demonstrated by including calcitriol in the lower well during our 3-h chemokinesis assay. Calcitriol blocked IL-2-induced lymphocyte migration in a dose-dependent fashion. The synthetic noncalcemic vitamin D analogue MC 903 was equally effective in this assay. IL-2- induced migration could also be prevented by the protein kinase C inhibitor H-7, but calcitriol appeared to be at least 1,000 times more potent. Our studies suggest that calcitriol is a potent natural immunomodulator with rapid suppressive effects that may be mediated through protein kinase C. Synthetic analogues such as MC 903 may offer exciting therapeutic opportunities.[1]


  1. Calcitriol and its synthetic analogue MC 903 inhibit the interleukin-2-induced migration of human lymphocytes. Fraher, L.J., Caveney, A.N., McFadden, R.G. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. (1995) [Pubmed]
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