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Vitamin D deficiency is a major public health problem worldwide, linked to several chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases. While immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D on monocytes have been reported in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, there is limited understanding on monocyte phenotype in healthy individuals with suboptimal vitamin D levels and without any clinical diseases. In this work, we performed label-free, microfluidic isolation of monocytes, and characterized their functional phenotype using flow cytometry and in vitro vascular models in healthy subjects with (n = 7) and without vitamin D deficiency (n = 16). Vitamin D deficient (VitD-Def) subjects (25(OH)D3 level < 26 ng/mL) expressed significant downregulation of vitamin D receptor (VDR) on monocytes as compared to controls (P < .0001), and VDR expression was well-associated with serum 25(OH)D3 levels. Increased monocyte-platelet aggregates (MPA), a marker for platelet activation, were also observed in VitD-Def subjects (P < .05) which suggests a pro-inflammatory monocyte phenotype. Monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells, an early-stage atherosclerosis event, was also higher in VitD-Def individuals, and inversely correlated to serum 25(OH)D3 level (P < .05). Taken together, these results indicate the pro-inflammatory state and atherogenic potential of monocytes in VitD-Def healthy subjects, and propound the use of vitamin D supplementation as a prospective immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory therapy in atherosclerosis. © 2020 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.


Hui Min Tay, Wei Hseun Yeap, Rinkoo Dalan, Siew Cheng Wong, Han Wei Hou. Increased monocyte-platelet aggregates and monocyte-endothelial adhesion in healthy individuals with vitamin D deficiency. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 2020 Aug;34(8):11133-11142

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PMID: 32627899

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