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Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells – Source: Nature Immunology, Mar 7, 2010

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[Note: The main job of the body’s T cells is to fight infection. These Danish researchers found that when T cells encounter a pathogen, they expose a vitamin D receptor that searches for vitamin D, and they will not activate without it.]

Phospholipase C (PLC) isozymes are key signaling proteins downstream of many extracellular stimuli. Here we show that naive human T cells had very low expression of PLC-?1 and that this correlated with low T cell antigen receptor (TCR) responsiveness in naive T cells.

However, TCR triggering led to an upregulation of ~75-fold in PLC-?1 expression, which correlated with greater TCR responsiveness.

Induction of PLC-?1 was dependent on vitamin D and expression of the vitamin D receptor (VDR).

Naive T cells did not express VDR, but VDR expression was induced by TCR signaling via the alternative mitogen-activated protein kinase p38 pathway.

Thus, initial TCR signaling via p38 leads to successive induction of VDR and PLC-?1, which are required for subsequent classical TCR signaling and T cell activation.

Source: Nature Immunology, Mar 7, 2010. doi:10.1038/ni.1851 by von Essen MR, Kongsbak M, Schjerling P,  Olgaard K, Odum N, Geisle C. Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology; Center for Healthy Aging, Faculty of Health Sciences; Department of Biology, Faculty of Science; Institute of Sports Medicine and Department of Nephrology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Rigshospitalet and Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. [E-mail: cge@sund.ku.dk]

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