New insights on the role of vitamin D in the progression of renal damage

Kidney Blood Press Res. 2013;37(6):667-78. doi: 10.1159/000355747. Epub 2013 Dec 16.


Several studies indicate a relationship between hypovitaminosis D, survival, vascular calcification and inflammation. In addition to its central role in the regulation of bone mineral metabolism, vitamin D also contributes to other systems, including the immune, cardiovascular and endocrine systems. Vitamin D analogs reduces proteinuria, in particular through suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and exerts anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. In particular vitamin D deficiency contribute to an inappropriately activated RAAS, as a mechanism for progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and/or cardiovascular disease. Human and sperimental models of CKD showed that vitamin D may interact with B and T lymphocytes and influence the phenotype and function of the antigen presenting cells and dendritic cells, promoting properties that favor the induction of tolerogenic T regulators rather than T effectory. Interstitial fibrosis may be prevented through vitamin D supplementation. Renal myofibroblast, an activated fibroblast with expression of a molecular hallmark α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), is generally considered the principal matrix-producing effector cells that are responsible for the excess production of extracellular matrix (ECM) components in the fibrotic tissues. It turns out that calcitriol effectively blocks myofibroblast activation from interstitial fibroblasts, as evidenced by suppression of TGF-β1-mediated α-SMA expression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Progression*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / pathology*
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / physiology
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin D / physiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology


  • Vitamin D