Modulation Of The Immune System By UV Radiation: More Than Just The Effects Of Vitamin D?
Office of Research and Innovation
Humans obtain most of their vitamin D through the exposure of skin to sunlight. The immunoregulatory properties of vitamin D have been demonstrated in studies showing that vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor immune function and increased disease susceptibility. The benefits of moderate ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure and the positive latitude gradients observed for some immune-mediated diseases may therefore reflect the activities of UV-induced vitamin D. Alternatively, other mediators that are induced by UV radiation may be more important for UV-mediated immunomodulation. Here, we compare and contrast the effects of UV radiation and vitamin D on immune function in immunopathological diseases, such as psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and asthma, and during infection.