Administering 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in vitamin D-deficient young type 1A diabetic patients reduces reactivity against islet autoantigens

Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec;33(6):1153-6. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.01.001. Epub 2014 Jan 9.


Background & aims: We investigated whether improving 25-hydroxyvitamin D status in young type 1A diabetic patients reduces reactivity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells against islet autoantigens and associates with beta-cell functional changes.

Methods: Eight patients with 25-hydroxyvitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml), out of 15 consecutive young type 1A diabetic subjects received 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 to achieve and maintain levels above 50 ng/ml for up to one year. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell reactivity (Interferon-γ spots) against beta-cell autoantigens (glutamic acid decarboxylase 65-kD isoform, proinsulin and tyrosine phosphatase-like protein IA-2) and C-peptide during mixed meal were assessed before and after 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 replenishment.

Results: Target 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood levels were safely reached and maintained. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell reactivity against glutamic acid decarboxylase 65-kD isoform (3.8 ± 4.0 vs. 45 ± 16) and proinsulin (3.5 ± 3.2 vs. 75 ± 51) decreased significantly (p < 0.001 and p < 0.02) upon 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 replenishment, which was correlated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations. C-peptide values remained stable after one year of treatment.

Conclusions: Safely restored and maintained 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels associated with reduced peripheral blood mononuclear cell reactivity against beta-cell autoantigens with no significant decrease of beta-cell function in this cohort of patients.

Keywords: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D; ELISpot; Interferon-γ; Type 1A diabetes mellitus; Vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoantigens / metabolism*
  • C-Peptide / metabolism
  • Calcifediol / administration & dosage*
  • Calcifediol / blood
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Male
  • Proinsulin / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy*


  • Autoantigens
  • C-Peptide
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Proinsulin
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase
  • Calcifediol