Vitamin D and the skin.
Vitamin D was originally discovered as a factor that regulates calcium and bone metabolism. Recent advances in investigation have shown that vitamin D also functions as a regulator of cellular growth and differentiation in various tissues. The skin is not an exception from such effects of vitamin D; it is regarded as a site of its activation and action. Evidence has accumulated showing that the active form of vitamin D and its analogs suppress growth and stimulate the terminal differentiation of keratinocytes. In psoriatic lesions, epidermal keratinocytes exhibit hyper-proliferation and impaired differentiation triggered by inflammation. Therefore, it is quite reasonable that vitamin D is effective on psoriasis. Indeed, within the past decade, analogs of vitamin D3 have been used as topical therapy for psoriasis. In this review, we summarize the fundamental features of vitamin D and the development of vitamin D therapy for psoriasis. Clinical application to other skin diseases and the future of vitamin D therapy in dermatology are also discussed.
Department of Dermatology, Course of Molecular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.,
Pub Type(s)Journal Article