Open Access
Vitamin D3: an ever green molecule
Michele Di Rosa1,*,Lucia Malaguarnera1,Anna Nicolosi2,Cristina Sanfilippo1,Clorinda Mazzarino1,Piero Pavone3,Massimiliano Berretta4,Stefano Cosentino5,Bruno Cacopardo5,Marilia Rita Pinzone5,Giuseppe Nunnari5
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Catania, Italy
Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Catania, Italy
Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Neurology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria OVE- Policlinico, University of Catania
Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Aviano (PN), Italy
Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Catania, Italy
DOI: 10.2741/S370 Volume 5 Issue 1, pp.247-260
Published: 01 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary approaches to prevent chronic-degenerative diseases)
*Corresponding Author(s):  
Michele Di Rosa

Vitamin D3 is a key regulator of vertebrates homeostasis. It is synthesized from the precursor 7- dehydrocholesterol upon UVB exposure in the skin and then hydrolyzed in the liver in position 25, to be finally converted into its active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D or calcitriol), in the kidneys. The biological activity of this molecule depends on its binding to the nuclear receptor VDR, which binds VDRE once complexed with RXR-alpha. Despite being present in different types of food, the best way to assume it at physiological levels remains the exposure to UVB radiation at certain hours of the day and at particular angles of the Earth's crust. There is plenty of evidence that altered levels of vitamin D3 are associated with pathological conditions, such as osteoporosis, cancer, immunological and infectious diseases. In this review, we discuss vitamin D3 metabolism, its role in several diseases and the link between vitamin D3 and immune cells.

Key words

Vitamin D3, Diet, Immune cells, Macrophage, Review

Share and Cite
Michele Di Rosa, Lucia Malaguarnera, Anna Nicolosi, Cristina Sanfilippo, Clorinda Mazzarino, Piero Pavone, Massimiliano Berretta, Stefano Cosentino, Bruno Cacopardo, Marilia Rita Pinzone, Giuseppe Nunnari. Vitamin D3: an ever green molecule. Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar. 2013. 5(1); 247-260.