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- EXISTING EVIDENCE FOR THE POSSIBLE ROLE OF 1,25 DIHYDROXY VITAMIN D3 IN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
Rheumatoid arthritis predisposes to osteoporosis and most physicians supplement calcium and 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D3 along with the standard treatment with disease modifying drugs. Advances in the understanding of physiological actions of 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D3 suggest that this molecule plays an important role in modulating the immune response of the body. Vitamin D receptor has been found in many cells of the immune system including promyelocytes, myelocytes and macrophages. Experiments in animal models of rheumatoid arthritis have shown amelioration of the disease after administration of 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D3. This article reviews the available data regarding the role of 1,25 dihydoxy vitamin D3 in rheumatoid arthritis.