Original Article Vitamin D 3 alters Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in monocytes of pregnant women at risk for preeclampsia

Lei Qian, Hongyou Wang, Fenghui Wu, Ming Li, Wei Chen, Lianzheng Lv
2015 Int J Clin Exp Med   unpublished
Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is thought to play a role in the development of preeclampsia; however , the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed among 60 pregnant women at risk for pre-eclampsia according to abnormal uterine artery Doppler waveform. Subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups to receive a daily dose of 2000 IU vitamin D 3 supplements (n=30) or receive placebo (n=30) between
more » ... estational weeks 20-32 for a total of 12 consecutive weeks. Because vitamin D 3 supplementation can induce anti-inflammatory cytokine signaling, peripheral blood monocytes were investigated by flow cytometry for expression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), an important mediator of innate immune response. The pro-inflammatory cytokines secretion of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-1 from monocytes, which are typically upregulated in preeclampsia, was also assessed. The incidence of preeclampsia was significantly lower in patients treated with vitamin D 3 compared to the placebo group. Both the mean fluorescence intensity and the positive percentage of monocytes TLR4 in the vitamin D group were significantly lower compared to the placebo group, as well as the concentrations of secreted TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1, while the concentration of IL-10 was higher. In the placebo group, the positive frequency of monocytes TLR4 was negatively correlated with the concentration of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in preeclampsia patients. Based on these results, we conclude that vitamin D 3 supplementation for patients at risk of preeclampsia leads to a decrease in the expression of peripheral blood monocytes TLR4 and a subsequent decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion. Therefore, inhibiting the expression of monocytes TLR4 through vitamin D 3 supplement may be a new approach to preeclampsia prevention.