Modulation Of The Immune System By UV Radiation: More Than Just The Effects Of Vitamin D?

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This article was originally published as : Hart, P. H., Gorman, S., & Finlay-Jones, J. J. (2011). Modulation of the immune system by UV radiation: more than just the effects of vitamin D? Nature Review Immunology, 11(9), 584-596.Access article here


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.


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