Back to the future: a new look at 'old' vitamin D

J Endocrinol. 2008 Aug;198(2):261-9. doi: 10.1677/JOE-08-0170. Epub 2008 May 21.


Our perception of the vitamin D system continues to evolve. Recent studies have re-evaluated the parameters for adequate vitamin D status in humans, revealing a high prevalence of insufficiency in many populations throughout the world. Other reports have highlighted the potential consequences of vitamin D insufficiency beyond established effects on bone homeostasis. Most notably, there is now strong evidence of a role for vitamin D in modulating innate and adaptive immunities, with insufficiency being linked to infectious disease and other immune disorders. To date, signaling pathways for these new responses to vitamin D have been based on established endocrine models for active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, despite present evidence for more localized, intracrine modes of action. In the following review, we provide a fresh perspective on vitamin D signaling in non-classical target cells such as macrophages by highlighting novel factors associated with the transport and action of this pluripotent secosteroid.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D / physiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology


  • Vitamin D