Vitamin Influence in Mitigating Respiratory Disease

Vitamin D Immune Response to Aspergillus Fumigatus

We are interested in vitamin D mediated immune tolerance. Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) is the most prevalent fungal organism that colonizes in the respiratory tract of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients.

Though colonization rates are high in CF patient populations, only 4 to 15 percent develop clinical disease in response to Af, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA).

ABPA is characterized by a dominant Th2 response to Af. Further, we have shown that patients with ABPA are significantly more vitamin D deficient than CF patients without ABPA indicating that vitamin D deficiency may be a causal factor in the development of ABPA.

We have started a clinical trial to determine if vitamin D supplementation will reduce total and aspergillus-specific IgE levels in CF patients with ABPA. In addition, we have established a mouse model of vitamin D deficiency in order to determine how vitamin D mediates disease tolerance versus sensitization.

Vitamin D Immune Response to Aspergillus Fumigatus

Vitamin D acting on APC-T cell interactions, inhibiting Th17 and Th2 proliferation while increasing Treg frequency.Click to view larger image.