Silvia Savastio1, *, Francesco Cadario1, 2, Sheila Beux1, Alberto Giorgis1, Giulia Genoni1, Marco Bagnati3, Giorgio Bellomo3, Gianni Bona1, 2, Luigi Maiuri1, 2
1 Division of Pediatrics, Department of Health Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
2 Interdisciplinary Research Center of Autoimmune Diseases (IRCAD), University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
3 Central Laboratory of Maggiore della Carità Hospital, University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bone metabolism but is also endowed with the capability of modulating inflammatory and immune function. Recent studies reported a relationship between low vitamin D levels and several autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes. Vitamin D regulates the expression of over 200 genes, also related to immune modulation, suggesting a putative role in these diseases pathogenesis. This review overviews the most recent advances on the association between vitamin D and increased risk of Type 1 Diabetes as well as between vitamin D and either glucose homeostasis or insulin sensitivity. The effects of vitamin D in modulating the immune response and balancing anti-inflammatory cytokines, suggest that vitamin D system may represent an unforeseen target for the design of novel strategies for the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases and in particular Type 1 Diabetes.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Pediatrics, Department of Health Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy; Tel: 003903213733793; E-mail: email@example.com