Down-regulation of IL-8 by high-dose vitamin D is specific to hyperinflammatory macrophages and involves mechanisms beyond up-regulation of DUSP1 Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:There is current interest in vitamin D as a potential anti-inflammatory treatment for chronic inflammatory lung disease, including cystic fibrosis (CF). Vitamin D transcriptionally up-regulates the anti-inflammatory gene DUSP1, which partly controls production of the inflammatory chemokine IL-8. IL-8 is overabundant in CF airways, potentially due to hyperinflammatory responses of CF macrophages. We tested the ability of vitamin D metabolites to down-regulate IL-8 production in CF macrophages. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:CF and healthy monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) were treated with two vitamin D metabolites, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3 ) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2 D3 ), or paricalcitol, synthetic analogue of 1,25(OH)2 D3 . 25OHD3 was tested at doses of 25-150 nM, whereas 1,25(OH)2 D3 and paricalcitol at doses of up to 100 nM. IL-8 was stimulated by bacterial virulence factors. As potential anti-inflammatory mechanism of vitamin D metabolites, we assessed up-regulation of DUSP1. KEY RESULTS:MDM from patients with CF and some healthy donors showed excessive production of stimulated IL-8, highlighting their hyperinflammatory phenotype. Vitamin D metabolites down-regulated stimulated IL-8 only in those hyperinflammatory MDM, and only when used at high doses (>100 nM for 25OHD3 , or >1 nM for 1,25(OH)2 D3 and paricalcitol). The magnitude of IL-8 down-regulation by vitamin D metabolites or paricalcitol was moderate (∼30% vs. >70% by low-dose dexamethasone). Transcriptional up-regulation of DUSP1 by vitamin D metabolites was seen in all tested MDM, regardless of IL-8 down-regulation. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:Vitamin D metabolites and their analogues moderately down-regulate IL-8 in hyperinflammatory macrophages, including those from CF. This down-regulation appears to go through DUSP1-independent mechanisms.


  • Dauletbaev, N
  • Herscovitch, K
  • Das, M
  • Chen, H
  • Bernier, J
  • Matouk, E
  • Bérubé, J
  • Rousseau, S
  • Lands, LC

publication date

  • 2015