The noncalciotropic actions of vitamin D: recent clinical developments

Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2008 Jul;17(4):408-15. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e3283040c99.


Purpose of review: This review summarizes recently described actions of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D beyond its function in calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism.

Recent findings: 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D stimulates the innate immune system, facilitating the clearance of infections such as tuberculosis. Hypovitaminosis D has been associated with several autoimmune disorders, various malignancies, and cardiovascular risk factors in a number of recent epidemiologic reports. Based on these observational reports, vitamin D and its analogues are being evaluated for the prevention and treatment of a variety of conditions, with early findings showing mixed results.

Summary: The broad tissue distribution of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1alpha-hydroxylase enzyme and the vitamin D receptor establish a role for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in the pathophysiology of various disease states and provide new therapeutic targets for vitamin D and its analogues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / physiopathology
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology
  • Infections / immunology
  • Infections / physiopathology
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin D / physiology*
  • Vitamins / physiology*


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium