The current state of play of rodent models to study the role of vitamin D in UV-induced immunomodulation

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Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from sunlight is immunomodulatory and the main source of vitamin D for humans. Vitamin D can also regulate adaptive immunity, through mechanisms that involve the induction or activation of regulatory T cells. Similar mechanisms have also been proposed for the induction of regulatory T cells after skin exposure to UVR. Here we discuss the converging and diverging immunoregulatory pathways of UVR and vitamin D, including the molecular pathways for regulatory T cell induction, non-genomic pathways regulated by vitamin D, antimicrobial peptides, skin integrity and potential interactions between vitamin D and other UVR-induced mediators. We then discuss possible in vivo approaches that could be used to demonstrate a direct (or otherwise) role for vitamin D in mediating the immunosuppressive effects of UVR such as the use of dietary vitamin D restriction to induce vitamin D deficiency, gene knockout mice or drugs to block enzymes of vitamin D metabolism. We end with discussion of the epigenetic effects of vitamin D and UVR for immunosuppression. © Royal Society of Chemistry 2013
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1788-1796
JournalPhotochemical and Photobiological Sciences
Issue number12
Early online date7 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


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