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Maternal vitamin D deficiency impairs Treg and Breg responses in offspring mice and deteriorates allergic airway inflammation

  • Huang, Fei1
  • Ju, Yang-hua2
  • Wang, Hong-bo2
  • Li, Ya-nan2, 3
  • 1 China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, 130033, China , Changchun (China)
  • 2 the First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, 130021, China , Changchun (China)
  • 3 the First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, 130021 Jilin, China , Changchun (China)
Published Article
Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Oct 14, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s13223-020-00487-1
Springer Nature


BackgroundVitamin D (VitD) can regulate immune responses and maternal VitD-deficiency can affect immune responses in the offspring. This study aimed at investigating the effects of maternal VitD-deficiency during pregnancy on Treg and Breg responses in offspring mice with house dust mite (HDM)-induced allergic airway inflammation.MethodsFemale BALB/c mice were randomized and fed with normal chow or VitD-deficient diet until their offspring weaned. The offspring mice were fed with normal chow and injected with vehicle or HDM to induce allergic airway inflammation. The levels of serum 25(OH)D, cytokines and infiltrate numbers as well as percentages of Tregs and Bregs in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were analyzed. The relative levels of VitD receptor (VDR), VitD-binding protein (VDBP), Cytochromes P450 (CYP) 27b1, and CYP24A1 mRNA transcripts in the lungs of different groups of mice were measured.ResultsMaternal VitD-deficiency significantly reduced serum 25(OH)D levels in offspring mice. VitD-deficiency significantly increased the relative levels of VDR, VDBP and CYP27B1 mRNA transcripts, but decreased CYP24A1 expression in the lungs of mice. In comparison with the control mice, significantly elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, increased numbers of lymphocytes and eosinophils, but decreased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines were detected in the BALF of VitD-deficient mice. VitD-deficiency significantly increased the frequency of Th1, Th2, Th9, Th17 cells, but decreased regulatory T (Tregs) and B cells (Bregs) in the BALF of mice with allergic airway inflammation.ConclusionMaternal VitD-deficiency lowed serum 25(OH)D levels and enhanced HDM-induced allergic airway inflammation in the offspring by impairing Breg and Treg responses.

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