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1.  Vitamin D receptor expression controls proliferation of naïve CD8+ T cells and development of CD8 mediated gastrointestinal inflammation 
BMC Immunology  2014;15:6.
Background
Vitamin D receptor (VDR) deficiency contributes to the development of experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in several different models. T cells have been shown to express the VDR, and T cells are targets of vitamin D. In this article we determined the effects of VDR expression on CD8+ T cells.
Results
VDR KO CD8+ T cells, but not WT CD8+ T cells, induced colitis in Rag KO recipients. In addition, co-transfer of VDR KO CD8+ T cells with naïve CD4+ T cells accelerated colitis development. The more severe colitis was associated with rapidly proliferating naïve VDR KO CD8+ T cells and increased IFN-γ and IL-17 in the gut. VDR KO CD8+ T cells proliferated in vitro without antigen stimulation and did not downregulate CD62L and upregulate CD44 markers following proliferation that normally occurred in WT CD8+ T cells. The increased proliferation of VDR KO CD8+ cells was due in part to the higher production and response of the VDR KO cells to IL-2.
Conclusions
Our data indicate that expression of the VDR is required to prevent replication of quiescent CD8+ T cells. The inability to signal through the VDR resulted in the generation of pathogenic CD8+ T cells from rapidly proliferating cells that contributed to the development of IBD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-15-6
PMCID: PMC3923390  PMID: 24502291
Vitamin D receptor; CD8+ T cells; Proliferation; Inflammatory bowel disease
2.  The effects of whole mushrooms during inflammation 
BMC Immunology  2009;10:12.
Background
Consumption of edible mushrooms has been suggested to improve health. A number of isolated mushroom constituents have been shown to modulate immunity. Five commonly consumed edible mushrooms were tested to determine whether whole mushrooms stimulate the immune system in vitro and in vivo.
Results
The white button (WB) extracts readily stimulated macrophage production of TNF-α. The crimini, maitake, oyster and shiitake extracts also stimulated TNF-α production in macrophage but the levels were lower than from WB stimulation. Primary cultures of murine macrophage and ovalbumin (OVA) specific T cells showed that whole mushroom extracts alone had no effect on cytokine production but co-stimulation with either lipopolysacharide or OVA (respectively) induced TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-1β while decreasing IL-10. Feeding mice diets that contained 2% WB mushrooms for 4 weeks had no effect on the ex vivo immune responsiveness or associated toxicity (changes in weight or pathology of liver, kidney and gastrointestinal tract). Dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) stimulation of mice that were fed 1% WB mushrooms were protected from DSS induced weight loss. In addition, 2% WB feeding protected the mice from transient DSS induced colonic injury. The TNF-α response in the colon and serum of the DSS challenged and 2% WB fed mice was higher than controls.
Conclusion
The data support a model whereby edible mushrooms regulate immunity in vitro. The in vivo effects of edible mushrooms required a challenge with DSS to detect small changes in TNF-α and transient protection from colonic injury. There are modest effects of in vivo consumption of edible mushrooms on induced inflammatory responses. The result is not surprising since it would certainly be harmful to strongly induce or suppress immune function following ingestion of a commonly consumed food.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-10-12
PMCID: PMC2649035  PMID: 19232107
3.  Vitamin D and the vitamin D receptor are critical for control of the innate immune response to colonic injury 
BMC Immunology  2007;8:5.
Background
The active form of vitamin D (1,25(OH)2D3) has been shown to inhibit development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in IL-10 KO mice. Here, the role of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and 1,25(OH)2D3 in acute experimental IBD was probed.
Results
VDR KO mice were extremely sensitive to dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) and there was increased mortality of the VDR KO mice at doses of DSS that only caused a mild form of colitis in wildtype (WT) mice. DSS colitis in the VDR KO mice was accompanied by high colonic expression of TNF-α, IL-1 α, IL-1β, IL-12, IFN-γ, IL-10, MIP-1α and KC. DSS concentrations as low as 0.5% were enough to induce bleeding, ulceration and weight loss in VDR KO mice. VDR KO mice failed to recover following the removal of DSS, while WT mice showed signs of recovery within 5 days of DSS removal. The early mortality of DSS treated VDR KO mice was likely due to perforation of the bowel and resulting endotoxemia. VDR KO mice were hyper-responsive to exogenously injected LPS and cultures of the peritoneal exudates of moribund DSS treated VDR KO mice were positive for bacterial growth. 1,25(OH)2D3 in the diet or rectally decreased the severity and extent of DSS-induced inflammation in WT mice.
Conclusion
The data point to a critical role for the VDR and 1,25(OH)2D3 in control of innate immunity and the response of the colon to chemical injury.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-8-5
PMCID: PMC1852118  PMID: 17397543

Results 1-3 (3)