Extending the vitamin D pathway to vitamin D 3 and CYP27A1 in periodontal ligament cells

J Periodontol. 2021 Jul;92(7):44-53. doi: 10.1002/JPER.20-0225. Epub 2020 Nov 10.


Background: In periodontal connective tissue cells, the vitamin D pathway has been elucidated, and vitamin D3 in the main storage form, 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 (25[OH]D3 ), and the functional form, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 (1,25[OH]2 D3 ), have been found to induce the expression of human cationic antimicrobial protein (hCAP-18)/LL-37. Moreover, synergistic effects between Toll-like receptor agonists and 25(OH)D3 have been reported. This research aimed at extending the vitamin D pathway to vitamin D3 and CYP27A1 in human periodontal ligament cells (hPDLCs) to further explore its function in periodontal inflammatory reaction.

Methods: Vitamin D3 was used to stimulate hPDLCs in the presence or absence of Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide (Pg-LPS). Conversely, CYP27A1 RNA interference was performed to further validate the findings. The mRNA expression of hCAP-18 was determined with real-time polymerase chain reaction. Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) were also detected. The cell supernatant levels of LL-37 were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Vitamin D3 significantly enhanced the generation of hCAP-18/LL-37. A combination of Pg-LPS and vitamin D3 significantly promoted hCAP-18/LL-37 expression. When the expression of CYP27A1 was knocked down with RNA interference, the induction of hCAP-18/LL-37 expression was significantly inhibited. Therefore, the mRNA levels of MCP-1 and IL-8 in hPDLCs were significantly decreased through the vitamin D pathway.

Conclusion: The vitamin D pathway from vitamin D3 to hCAP-18/LL-37 exists in hPDLCs, and CYP27A1 might be involved in periodontal immune defense.

Keywords: cholestanetriol 26-monooxygenase; periodontal ligament; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cholecalciferol* / pharmacology
  • Cholestanetriol 26-Monooxygenase
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Ligament*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Vitamin D / pharmacology
  • Vitamins / pharmacology


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • CYP27A1 protein, human
  • Cholestanetriol 26-Monooxygenase