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Progesterone affects the T cell vitamin D receptor (2 abstracts) – March 2015

Two publications by the same author

Cutting edge: progesterone directly upregulates vitamin d receptor gene expression for efficient regulation of T cells by calcitriol.

J Immunol. 2015 Feb 1;194(3):883-6. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1401923. Epub 2014 Dec 29.
Thangamani S1, Kim M1, Son Y1, Huang X2, Kim H1, Lee JH1, Cho J1, Ulrich B1, Broxmeyer HE2, Kim CH3.
1Laboratory of Immunology and Hematopoiesis, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907;
2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202;
3Laboratory of Immunology and Hematopoiesis, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202; Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; and Purdue Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 chkim at purdue.edu.

The two nuclear hormone receptor ligands progesterone and vitamin D (vit.D) play important roles in regulating T cells. The mechanism that connects these two hormones in regulating T cells has not been established. In this study, we report that progesterone is a novel inducer of vit.D receptor (VDR) in T cells and makes T cells highly sensitive to calcitriol. At the molecular level, the induction by progesterone is mediated by two progesterone receptor-binding elements in the intron region after the first noncoding exon of the human VDR gene. Increased expression of VDR by progesterone allows highly sensitive regulation of T cells by vit.D even when vit.D levels are suboptimal. This novel regulatory pathway allows enhanced induction of regulatory T cells but suppression of Th1 and Th17 cells by the two nuclear hormones. The results have significant ramifications in effective regulation of T cells to prevent adverse immune responses during pregnancy.

Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

PMID: 25548222
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A Functional Relay from Progesterone to Vitamin D in the Immune System.

DNA Cell Biol. 2015 Mar 31. [Epub ahead of print]
Kim CH1.
1Laboratory of Immunology and Hematopoiesis, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University , West Lafayette, Indiana.

Progesterone is a steroid hormone that promotes and maintains pregnancy. Vitamin D (vit. D), another steroid hormone, regulates calcium levels and bone health among many of its functions. The two hormones play important roles also in regulating the immune system.

Recently, we discovered that the vitamin D receptor (VDR) is induced in T cells by progesterone. This finding connects the function of progesterone to that of vit. D and suggests that the two steroid hormones cooperate with each other for sequential and effective regulation of the immune system. Potential implications of the regulation in health and disease are discussed.

PMID: 25826095

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See also VitaminDWiki

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