Vitamin D: Effect on Haematopoiesis and Immune System and Clinical Applications

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Sep 8;19(9):2663. doi: 10.3390/ijms19092663.


Vitamin D is a steroid-like hormone which acts by binding to vitamin D receptor (VDR). It plays a main role in the calcium homeostasis and metabolism. In addition, vitamin D display other important effects called "non-classical actions." Among them, vitamin D regulates immune cells function and hematopoietic cells differentiation and proliferation. Based on these effects, it is currently being evaluated for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. In addition, vitamin D levels have been correlated with patients' outcome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation, where it might regulate immune response and, accordingly, might influence the risk of graft-versus-host disease. Here, we present recent advances regarding its clinical applications both in the treatment of hematologic malignancies and in the transplant setting.

Keywords: allogeneic stem cell transplantation; haematopoiesis; leukaemia; myelodysplastic syndrome; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Hematopoiesis* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Leukemia / immunology
  • Leukemia / metabolism
  • Leukemia / therapy*
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / immunology
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / metabolism
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / therapy*
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / immunology
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Vitamin D / immunology
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamins / immunology
  • Vitamins / metabolism
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D