Bioactive forms of vitamin D selectively stimulate the skin analog of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in human epidermal keratinocytes

Academic Article


  • Ultraviolet radiation B stimulates both the production of vitamin D3 in the skin and the activation of the skin analog of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) as well as the central HPA. Since the role of vitamin D3 in the regulation of the HPA is largely unknown, we investigated the impact of 1,25(OH)2D3 and its noncalcemic analogs, 20(OH)D3 and 21(OH)pD, on the expression of the local HPA in human epidermal keratinocytes. The noncalcemic analogs showed similar efficacy to 1,25(OH)2D3 in stimulating the expression of neuropeptides, CRF, urocortins and POMC, and their receptors, CRFR1, CRFR2, MC1R, MC2R, MC3R and MC4R. Interestingly, unlike other secosteroids, the activity of 21(OH)pD did not correlate with induction of differentiation, suggesting a separate but overlapping mechanism of action. Thus, biologically active forms of vitamin D can regulate different elements of the local equivalent of the HPA with implications for the systemic HPA.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wierzbicka JM; ┼╗mijewski MA; Piotrowska A; Nedoszytko B; Lange M; Tuckey RC; Slominski AT
  • Start Page

  • 312
  • End Page

  • 322
  • Volume

  • 437