Vitamin D-mediated effects on airway innate immunity in vitro

Article: Vitamin D-mediated effects on airway innate immunity in vitro

Authors: Emma M Stapleton, Kathy Keck, Robert Windisch, Mallory R Stroik, Andrew L Thurman, Joseph Zabner, Ian M Thornell, Alejandro A Pezzulo, Julia Klesney-Tait, Alejandro P Comellas

Journal: PLoS One. 2022 Jun 6;17(6):e0269647

Introduction: Vitamin D supplementation has been suggested to enhance immunity during respiratory infection season. We tested the effect of active vitamin D (calcitriol) supplementation on key airway innate immune mechanisms in vitro.

Methods: Primary human airway epithelial cells (hAECs) grown at the air liquid interface were supplemented with 10-7 M calcitriol for 24 hours (or a time course) and their antimicrobial airway surface liquid (ASL) was tested for pH, viscoscity, and antibacterial and antiviral properties. We also tested hAEC ciliary beat frequency (CBF). Next, we assessed alterations to hAEC gene expression using RNA sequencing, and based on results, we measured neutrophil migration across hAECs.

Results: Calcitriol supplementation enhanced ASL bacterial killing of Staphylococcus aureus (p = 0.02) but did not enhance its antiviral activity against 229E-CoV. It had no effect on ASL pH or viscosity at three timepoints. Lastly, it did not affect hAEC CBF or neutrophil migration, although there was a trend of enhanced migration in the presence of a neutrophil chemokine (p = 0.09). Supplementation significantly altered hAEC gene expression, primarily of AMP-related genes including CAMP and TREM1.

Conclusion: While vitamin D supplementation did not have effects on many airway innate immune mechanisms, it may provide a useful tool to resolve respiratory bacterial infections.

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