Illuminating vitamin D effects on B cells - the multiple sclerosis perspective

Linda Rolf, Anne-Hilde Muris, Raymond Hupperts, Jan Damoiseaux*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Web of Science)


Vitamin D is associated with many immune-mediated disorders. In multiple sclerosis (MS) a poor vitamin D status is a major environmental factor associated with disease incidence and severity. The inflammation in MS is primarily T-cell-mediated, but increasing evidence points to an important role for B cells. This has paved the way for investigating vitamin D effects on B cells. In this review we elaborate on vitamin D interactions with antibody production, T-cell-stimulating capacity and regulatory B cells. Although in vitro plasma cell generation and expression of co-stimulatory molecules are inhibited and the function of regulatory B cells is promoted, this is not supported by in vivo data. We speculate that differences might be explained by the B-cell-Epstein-Barr virus interaction in MS, the exquisite role of germinal centres in B-cell biology, and/or in vivo interactions with other hormones and vitamins that interfere with the vitamin D pathways. Further research is warranted to illuminate this tube-versus-body paradox.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-284
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • autoimmune
  • B cells
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • multiple sclerosis
  • plasma cells
  • vitamin D

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