The role of monocytes and T cells in 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 mediated inhibition of B cell function in vitro

Immunopharmacology. Mar-Apr 1991;21(2):121-8. doi: 10.1016/0162-3109(91)90015-q.


1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3) inhibits immunoglobulin production by human mononuclear cells (MNC) in vitro. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the role of T cells and monocytes in 1,25-(OH)2D3 induced suppression of B cell functions. The synthetic vitamin D3 analogue MC 903 was examined in parallel. 1,25-(OH)2D3 and MC 903 showed a dose-related inhibition of IgM, IgG and IgA plaque-forming cells in poke-weed mitogen (PWM) activated cultures of MNC. This effect was most likely mediated through impairment of T cell and monocyte functions. First, the inhibitory effect was seen after PWM stimulation, but not after Epstein-Barr virus stimulation which activates B cells independently of T cells and monocytes. Second, 1,25-(OH)2D3 was not effective in T cell and monocyte-depleted cultures. Third, the effect of 1,25-(OH)2D3 on PWM driven MNC was reversed by addition of the recombinant monokines: interleukin (IL)-1 beta, tumour necrosis factor alpha (rTNF alpha), rIL-6, as well as the lymphokines: lymphotoxin (rLT) and rIL-2. This is consistent with the finding that 1,25-(OH)2D3 also inhibited IL-1 alpha, TNF alpha and LT production in these cultures. The assumption that B cells are not directly affected by 1,25-(OH)2D3 was further supported by the fact that 24 h of culture with 10(-8) M 1,25-(OH)2D3 failed to reduce immunoglobulin production by in vivo activated B cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Formation / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Calcitriol / analogs & derivatives
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology*
  • Cell Communication
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-1 / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • Interleukin-1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • calcipotriene
  • Calcitriol