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Vitamin D3 May Overcome Steroid-Resistant Asthma

Pretreatment of T cells with vitamin D3 reverses glucocorticoid resistance in laboratory

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TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Pretreatment of an asthma patient's T cells with vitamin D3 seems to help overcome steroid resistance in cultured cells, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. In addition, a proof-of-concept trial in three patients suggests that taking vitamin D3 daily could enhance responsiveness to dexamethasone.

Emmanuel Xystrakis, M.D., of King's College London, and colleagues added vitamin D3 and dexamethasone to cultures of steroid-resistant CD4+ T cells, enhancing IL-10 synthesis to levels observed in cells from glucocorticoid-sensitive patients cultured with dexamethasone alone.

Further, the researchers found that pretreatment with IL-10 fully restored IL-10 synthesis in these cells in response to dexamethasone. Four healthy patients and three patients with steroid-resistant asthma had enhanced IL-10 responsiveness to glucocorticoids after taking vitamin D3 daily for one week.

"This strongly suggests that vitamin D3 could potentially increase the therapeutic response to glucocorticoids in steroid-resistant patients," the authors write.

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