Study of topical applications of vitamin D creams
Gorman S, Judge MA, Hart PH. Immune-modifying properties of topical vitamin D: Focus on dendritic cells and T cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, West Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
Topical creams containing the active form of vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3); 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)) or analogues of this compound are currently used with some success to treat skin conditions including psoriasis and vitiligo. As well as targeting inflammatory processes in the skin, topical application of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) also affects the function of immune cells in the skin and draining lymph nodes.
Topically applied 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) reduces the number of dendritic cells in the skin, resulting in suppressed immunity and in particular reduced contact hypersensitivity (CHS) responses. Topical 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) may also promote the migration of dendritic cells from the skin to the draining lymph nodes.
Skin application of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) prevented the inflammatory effects of UVB irradiation on lymph node hypertrophy, when cell numbers were examined 4 days after skin treatment. In contrast, when 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) was applied to UVB irradiated skin, there was no reversal in the suppression of CHS responses caused by UVB irradiation. Instead, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) had an additive effect with UVB to suppress CHS responses to a greater degree than UVB alone.
In these studies, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) was applied to the treated skin of BALB/c mice immediately following UVB irradiation.
Finally, topical 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) also enhanced the number and suppressive activity of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in the lymphatic tissue draining skin.