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Combined approaches based on immunotherapy and drugs supporting immune effector cell function might increase treatment options for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), vitamin D being a suitable drug candidate. In this study, we evaluated whether treatment with the vitamin D analogue, calcipotriol, counterbalances PDAC induced and SMAD4-associated intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i alterations, cytokines release, immune effector function, and the intracellular signaling of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Calcipotriol counteracted the [Ca2+]i depletion of PBMCs induced by SMAD4-expressing PDAC cells, which conditioned media augmented the number of calcium flows while reducing whole [Ca2+]i. While calcipotriol inhibited spontaneous and PDAC-induced tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) release by PBMC and reduced intracellular transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), it did not counteract the lymphocytes proliferation induced in allogenic co-culture by PDAC-conditioned PBMCs. Calcipotriol mainly antagonized PDAC-induced apoptosis and partially restored PDAC-inhibited NF-κB signaling pathway. In conclusion, alterations induced by PDAC cells in the [Ca2+]i of immune cells can be partially reverted by calcipotriol treatment, which promotes inflammation and antagonizes PBMCs apoptosis. These effects, together with the dampening of intracellular TGF-β, might result in an overall anti-tumor effect, thus supporting the administration of vitamin D in PDAC patients.


Stefania Moz, Nicole Contran, Monica Facco, Valentina Trimarco, Mario Plebani, Daniela Basso. Vitamin D Prevents Pancreatic Cancer-Induced Apoptosis Signaling of Inflammatory Cells. Biomolecules. 2020 Jul 15;10(7)

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PMID: 32679840

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