What’s the position of vitamin D in pandemic H1N1 influenza and SARS-CoV-2 an infection?

A latest examine revealed in Nutrients discovered that vitamin D is important for lung safety from viral an infection.

Study: Vitamin D and the Ability to Produce 1,25(OH)2D Are Critical for Protection from Viral Infection of the Lungs. Image Credit: Iryna Imago/Shutterstock
Research: Vitamin D and the Ability to Produce 1,25(OH)2D Are Critical for Protection from Viral Infection of the Lungs. Picture Credit score: Iryna Imago/Shutterstock


Low vitamin D ranges have been related to poor outcomes following respiratory ailments similar to influenza. Excessive-dose vitamin D dietary supplements have been prompt to lower seasonal flu severity. The emergence of extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has renewed curiosity in these dietary supplements for treating coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19).

Vitamin D and its lively type 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D (1,25D) have been implicated in antiviral responses. A number of research confirmed that 1,25D and different vitamin D analogs might induce the manufacturing of cathelicidin, a number protection peptide, throughout viral an infection. The cathelicidin LL-37 has been proven to bind to and kill influenza and different viruses in vitro. Thus, vitamin D supplementation might goal the influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2.

Concerning the examine

Within the current examine, researchers evaluated the results of vitamin D on the antiviral response in lungs in mice and hamsters. C57BL/6 wildtype mice, K18-hACE2 mice, cytochrome P450 household 27 subfamily b polypeptide 1 (Cyp27B1) knockout (Cyp KO) mice (that don’t produce 1,25D) had been bred and housed.

Intercourse- and age-matched mice got chow or purified diets with (D+) or with out vitamin D (D-). Golden Syrian hamsters had been maintained on a chow or D- weight loss program and fed corn oil and vitamin D3. Serum samples had been obtained to watch the vitamin D standing of animals. Mice and hamsters had been contaminated with the SARS-CoV-2 WA-1/2020 pressure.

D+ and D- wildtype and D+ and D- Cyp KO littermates had been fed an identical diets with or with out vitamin D. They had been contaminated with mouse-adapted H1N1 influenza virus. Experiments involving SARS-CoV-2 had been carried out in biosafety degree 3 enhanced (BSL3+) whereas these with H1N1 had been performed in BSL2+ situations.


The authors noticed considerably totally different ranges of serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25D) between mice fed D+ or D- weight loss program whatever the mouse genotype (wildtype or Cyp KO). D+ Cyp KO mice had increased ranges of 25D than D+ wildtype mice. Respiratory misery was evident in all mice seven days after H1N1 an infection, albeit D+ wildtype confirmed the least misery. D- wildtype and D- Cyp KO mice exhibited elevated signs.

One D+ wildtype mice succumbed to an infection; mice in D+ or D- KO teams had a decrease survival price (62% in D+ and 57% in D- KO). Lung sections from vitamin D-deficient mice of both genotype confirmed irritation even earlier than an infection. Alveolar hemorrhage was extra distinguished at 4 days post-infection (dpi) in D- Cyp KO mice than in D+ or D- wildtype mice. By 14 dpi, lung sections of D+ or D- Cyp KO and D- wildtype had been a lot extreme than D+ wildtype mice.

K18-hACE2 mice had been fed a vitamin D-deficient chow and dosed orally with a automobile (D-), low (D+), or excessive (D++) dose of vitamin D3 for eight weeks earlier than SARS-CoV-2 an infection. Serum 25D ranges had been considerably increased in D++ mice earlier than an infection and at 14 dpi. SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) gene expression was the identical in D- and D++ mice at 6 dpi.

SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced expression of interferon-beta and -gamma, however not interferon-alpha. Lung histopathology of D++ mice revealed considerably much less kind II hyperplasia and alveolar reworking at 14 dpi. In a closing set of experiments with mice, the authors discovered that 1,25D had no impact on survival from a deadly SARS-CoV-2 dose.

There have been no important variations in serum 25D ranges between hamsters fed a chow weight loss program and people fed D- diets for 4 weeks. Subsequently, hamsters had been fed a D- weight loss program orally with a automobile (D-) or 8 μg/day of vitamin D (D+) from 14 days earlier than SARS-CoV-2 an infection all through the experiment. Serum 25D ranges had been considerably increased in D+ hamsters than D- hamsters on the day of an infection till 14 dpi.

N gene was detected at 3 dpi within the lungs however not at 6 dpi, and no variations in N gene expression had been famous between the lungs of D- and D+ hamsters. Surprisingly, N gene expression was noticed within the colon tissues at 3 dpi and 6 dpi, albeit 1000-fold decrease than within the lungs. Lung histopathology revealed considerably increased injury on 6 dpi than on 3 dpi.


The examine discovered that vitamin D deficiency brought about lung irritation earlier than viral an infection. Vitamin D-deficient mice confirmed way more extreme respiratory signs and lung irritation than vitamin D-sufficient or -supplemented mice upon an infection with H1N1 or SARS-CoV-2. D- mice confirmed considerably increased irritation than D+ mice upon H1N1 an infection. Furthermore, high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation protected mice from SARS-CoV-2 an infection.

Notably, vitamin D didn’t have an effect on the expression of the H1N1 membrane (M) gene or SARS-CoV-2 N gene within the lungs of mice and hamsters. Total, the findings highlighted the important position of vitamin D and Cyp27B1 in regulating host responses to SARS-CoV-2 and H1N1. Future research are wanted to uncover the mechanism by which antiviral response is regulated by vitamin D.

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