Background Recent studies indicate that prenatal vitamin D intake may protect against the development of atopic diseases in young children. Vitamin D has been shown to induce tolerogenic antigen-presenting cells such as dendritic cells. Whether the allergy-protective potential of prenatal vitamin D is mediated through such mechanisms is, however, unknown.
Objective To evaluate the association between prenatal vitamin D supplementation and tolerogenic antigen-presenting cells in cord blood (CB) as determined by mRNA measurement of immunoglobulin-like transcripts (ILT)3 and ILT4.
Methods A prospective multi-centre birth cohort was established in rural areas of five European countries. Information on maternal exposures including vitamin D intake was collected by questionnaires during pregnancy. The gene expression of ILT3 and ILT4 was analysed by real-time PCR in the CB of 927 children. Maternal vitamin D supplementation was assessed in Finland and France (n=349).
Results Maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy was associated with an increase in the gene expression of ILT3 (P=0.012) and ILT4 (P<0.001). This association remained significant for ILT4 (P=0.020) and showed a positive trend for the gene expression of ILT3 (P=0.059) after multivariate analysis controlling for various confounders.
Conclusions Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may increase the mRNA levels of ILT3 and ILT4 in CB. This finding may point towards an early induction of tolerogenic immune responses by maternal vitamin D intake.
Cite this as: M. K. Rochat, M. J. Ege, D. Plabst, J. Steinle, S. Bitter, C. Braun-Fahrländer, J-C. Dalphin, J. Riedler, M. Roponen, M-R. Hirvonen, G. Büchele, H. Renz, R. Lauener, S. Krauss-Etschmann, E. von Mutius and the PASTURE Study group, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2010 (40) 786–794.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.