• Adipocytes;
  • Glucose uptake;
  • Inflammation;
  • Interleukins;
  • Vitamin D


Obesity is strongly associated with low-grade inflammation, notably due to an overproduction of proinflammatory markers by adipose tissue and adipocytes as well as a vitamin D deficiency. Whether these problems are interrelated has not been clearly established.

Methods and results

In the present report, decreases in the levels of inflammatory markers such as IL-6, MCP-1, and IL-1β (mRNA and protein level) in human adipocytes and in 3T3-L1 adipocytes were observed after 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3) treatment. Such treatment also decreased the expression of the TNF-α-mediated proinflammatory marker in 3T3-L1 and human adipocytes. A similar effect was observed in adipocyte-macrophage co-culture systems in which 1,25-(OH)2D3 decreased proinflammatory marker expression under basal and TNF-α-stimulated conditions. The involvement of VDR and NF-κB was confirmed in these regulations. Incubation with 1,25-(OH)2D3 also resulted in the dephosphorylation of p38, which is linked to the transcriptional induction of several Dusp family members. Functional consequences of the 1,25-(OH)2D3 treatment on glucose uptake and AKT phosphorylation were observed.


The improvement of both proinflammatory status and glucose uptake in adipocytes under 1,25-(OH)2D3 effect suggests that low-grade inflammation could be linked to vitamin D deficiency. This observation offers new perspectives in the context of obesity and associated physiopathological disorders.