Vitamin D inhibits myometrial and leiomyoma cell proliferation in vitro

Fertil Steril. 2009 May;91(5):1919-25. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2008.02.136. Epub 2008 Apr 18.


Objective: To determine the effect of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) and 25(OH)D(3) vitamin D derivates on the growth of leiomyoma and myometrial cells in vitro.

Design: In vitro study.

Setting: Cell biology research laboratory.

Patient(s): Six premenopausal women with uterine leiomyomas undergoing hysterectomy.

Intervention(s): Samples of leiomyomas and normal myometrial tissue were obtained, and paired cultures were established.

Main outcome measure(s): A colorimetric crystal violet assay to determine the effect of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) and 25(OH)D(3) on cell growth.

Result(s): In both myometrial and leiomyoma cells, 0.1 nM physiologic level of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) inhibited growth by 12% when compared with controls. The growth inhibition was concentration dependent; the highest concentration of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) (100 nM) inhibited growth by 62% in both cell types. All the differences were statistically significant. A slight stimulation (<4%) of cell proliferation was observed with the lowest 25(OH)(2)D(3) concentrations. When treated with either a 500 nM or 1000 nM concentration of the compound, the growth of both cell types fell to approximately 50% of that of the control cultures, and the level of inhibition with the latter concentration was statistically significant.

Conclusion(s): Both myometrial and leiomyoma cell growth in vitro was effectively inhibited by 1,25(OH)(2)D(3). Vitamin D may play a role in the growth of uterine leiomyomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcifediol / pharmacology*
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leiomyoma / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myometrium / cytology
  • Myometrium / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / analysis
  • Receptors, Estrogen / analysis
  • Receptors, Progesterone / analysis
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcifediol