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Non-Skeletal Activities of Vitamin D: From Physiology to Brain Pathology

Authors
  • Bivona, Giulia1
  • Agnello, Luisa1
  • Bellia, Chiara1
  • Iacolino, Giorgia1
  • Scazzone, Concetta1
  • Lo Sasso, Bruna1
  • Ciaccio, Marcello1, 2
  • 1 Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Molecular Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Biomedicine, Neuroscience and Advanced Diagnostics, University of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy
  • 2 Department and U.O.C. Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital “Paolo Giaccone” of Palermo, 90127 Palermo, Italy
Type
Published Article
Journal
Medicina
Publisher
MDPI
Publication Date
Jul 05, 2019
Volume
55
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/medicina55070341
PMID: 31284484
PMCID: PMC6680897
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone regulating the expression of almost 900 genes, and it is involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphate metabolism, immune response, and brain development. Low blood vitamin D levels have been reported in patients affected by various diseases. Despite a large amount of literature data, there is uncertainty surrounding the role of vitamin D as a serum biomarker in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Indeed, the lack of internationally recognized 25(OH)D3 reference measurement procedures and standard materials in the past led to unstandardized serum total 25(OH)D3 results among research and clinical care laboratories. Thus, most of the literature studies reported unstandardized data, which are of little use and make it difficult to draw conclusions of the role of vitamin D in AD and PD. This review summarizes the extra-skeletal actions of vitamin D, focusing its role in immunomodulation and brain function, and reports the issue of lacking standardized literature data concerning the usefulness of vitamin D as a biomarker in AD and PD.

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