It is thought that every cell in the body expresses the vitamin D receptor, and therefore vitamin D may play a role in health and homeostasis of every organ system, including skeletal muscle. Human, animal, and cell culture studies have collectively shown that vitamin D affects muscle strength and function. Vitamin D functions in a plethora of cellular processes in skeletal muscle including calcium homeostasis, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, fiber size, prevention of fatty degeneration, protection against insulin resistance and arachidonic acid mobilization. These processes appear to be mediated by several signaling pathways affected by vitamin D. This review aims to explore the effects of vitamin D on skeletal muscle in each model system and to delineate potential cell signaling pathways affected by vitamin D.
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