Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the large intestine. Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, which binds B7-1 and B7-2 on APCs (antigen-presenting cells), and induces APCs to produce an inhibitory signal to T cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of vitamin D on CTLA-4 gene expression in whole blood samples of patients with UC.
90 patients with mild to moderate UC were randomized to receive either a single injection of 7.5 mg vitamin D3 or 1 mL normal saline. 90 days following the intervention fold changes in CTLA-4 mRNA expression were determined and statistical comparisons between the two groups were performed.
Serum vitamin D increased significantly only in the vitamin D group. CTLA-4 fold changes were significantly higher in the vitamin D group compared with the placebo group (median ± IQR: 1.21 ± 2.3 vs. 1.00 ± 1.5, respectively; p = 0.007).
The results of this study revealed that vitamin D administration in patients with UC enhances the CTLA-4 gene expression.