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One calcitriol dose transiently increases Helios+ FoxP3+ T cells and ameliorates autoimmune demyelinating disease

Nashold, FE;Nelson, CD;Brown, LM;Hayes, CE;

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable inflammatory demyelinating disease. We investigated one calcitriol dose plus vitamin D3 (calcitriol/+D) as a demyelinating disease treatment in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Evidence that calcitriol-vitamin D receptor pathway deficits may promote MS, and data showing calcitriol enhancement of autoimmune T cell apoptosis provided the rationale. Whereas vitamin D3 alone was ineffective, calcitriol/+D transiently increased central nervous system (CNS) Helios(+)FoxP3(+) T cells and sustainably decreased CNS T cells, pathology, and neurological deficits in mice with EAE. Calcitriol/+D, which was more effective than methylprednisolone, has potential for reversing inflammatory demyelinating disease safely and cost-effectively.