Vitamin D and remyelination in multiple sclerosis

Neurologia (Engl Ed). 2018 Apr;33(3):177-186. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2016.05.001. Epub 2016 Jun 16.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Several studies have found an association between multiple sclerosis and vitamin D (VD) deficiency, which suggests that VD may play a role in the immune response. However, few studies have addressed its role in remyelination.

Development: The VD receptor and the enzymes transforming VD into metabolites which activate the VD receptor are expressed in central nervous system (CNS) cells, which suggests a potential effect of VD on the CNS. Both in vitro and animal model studies have shown that VD may play a role in myelination by acting on factors that influence the microenvironment which promotes both proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells into oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and oligodendrocytes. It remains unknown whether the mechanisms of internalisation of VD in the CNS are synergistic with or antagonistic to the mechanisms that facilitate the entry of VD metabolites into immune cells.

Conclusions: VD seems to play a role in the CNS and our hypothesis is that VD is involved in remyelination. Understanding the basic mechanisms of VD in myelination is necessary to manage multiple sclerosis patients with VD deficiency.

Keywords: Células precursoras de oligodendrocitos; Esclerosis múltiple; Mielina; Multiple sclerosis; Myelin; Oligodendrocito; Oligodendrocyte; Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells; Receptor de vitamina D; Vitamin D; Vitamin D receptor; Vitamina D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Myelin Sheath / physiology
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism
  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Remyelination / physiology*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamin D