1,25 Dihydroxyvitamin-D3 modulates JAK-STAT pathway in IL-12/IFNgamma axis leading to Th1 response in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis

J Neurosci Res. 2006 May 15;83(7):1299-309. doi: 10.1002/jnr.20826.


Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a Th1 cell-mediated autoimmune disease model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Vitamin D deficiency is commonly observed in MS patients and vitamin D supplements reduce the clinical symptoms of EAE and MS. Earlier studies have shown that in vivo treatment with vitamin D analogs ameliorates EAE in association with the inhibition of IL-12 production and Th1 differentiation. The mechanisms in the regulation of Th1 response by vitamin D in EAE/MS are, however, not known. We show that in vivo treatment of C57BL/6 and SJL/J mice (i.p.) with 100 ng of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3, on every other day from Day 0-30, ameliorates EAE in association with the inhibition of IL-12 production and neural antigen-specific Th1 response. In vitro treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3 inhibited IFNgamma-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1, without affecting JAK2, in EOC-20 microglial cells. Treatment of activated T cells with 1,25(OH)2D3 also inhibited the IL-12-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of JAK2, TYK2, STAT3, and STAT4 in association with a decrease in T cell proliferation in vitro. These findings highlight the fact that vitamin D modulates JAK-STAT signaling pathway in IL-12/IFNgamma axis leading to Th1 differentiation and further suggest its use in the treatment of MS and other Th1 cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcitriol / metabolism*
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology*
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-12 / immunology
  • Interleukin-12 / metabolism*
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microglia / drug effects
  • Microglia / immunology
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / immunology
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor / immunology
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / drug effects
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • STAT1 Transcription Factor
  • Stat1 protein, mouse
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Jak2 protein, mouse
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Calcitriol