The effect of 1,25-vitamin D3 on maturation of monocytes from HIV-infected patients varies with degree of immunodeficiency


Kaptein W. Wilhelmsen og Frues Institute of Bacteriology, The National Hospital, Rikshospitalet, N-0027 Oslo, Norway.


The active metabolite of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D), has been shown to induce monocyte-to-macrophage maturation in vitro as well as monocytic differentiation of bone marrow precursors and monocytic leukaemic cell lines. In this study we assessed whether 1,25D could improve the maturation defect we have previously demonstrated in monocytes from AIDS patients. In vitro growth and maturation of monocytes from 10 controls, 15 asymptomatic HIV positives (CDC group II or III) and 13 symptomatic HIV positives (CDC group IV) was examined by assessing cellular morphology, differentiation, adherence and protein content. Cells were cultured for 10 days with or without addition of 1,25D at a concentration of 100 pg/ml. In addition, patients were monitored clinically and by immunological parameters and HIV p24 antigen in serum. The present study showed that addition of 1,25D significantly improved the growth and maturation in both patient and control groups. There was a significant negative correlation between response to 1,25D and CD4+ lymphocyte count in blood in HIV-infected patients. A greater response to 1,25D was seen in monocytes from patients with advanced immunodeficiency and symptomatic disease than in monocytes from asymptomatic patients. However, in the most advanced cases of HIV infection with serious ongoing opportunistic infections the response to 1,25D was very poor, possibly reflecting profound and incorrigible dysfunction of monocytes