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Abstract: TH-PO144

Antibody Production Requires Neither Vitamin D nor the Vitamin D Receptor

Session Information

  • CKD-MBD: Targets and Outcomes
    November 03, 2022 | Location: Exhibit Hall, Orange County Convention Center‚ West Building
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Category: Bone and Mineral Metabolism

  • 401 Bone and Mineral Metabolism: Basic


  • Plum, Lori A., University of Wisconsin System, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • Blaser, William J., University of Wisconsin System, Madison, Wisconsin, United States
  • Deluca, Hector F., University of Wisconsin System, Madison, Wisconsin, United States

The idea that vitamin D plays a significant role in immunity, especially in fighting infectious disease, has been proposed repeatedly for many years. Because antibody production is of central importance to an organism’s defense against infection, studies were conducted to determine if vitamin D functions in this area of immunity.


Two animal models were utilized: mice depleted of vitamin D and mice devoid of the vitamin D receptor. Vitamin D-deficient mice were generated from parents fed D-deficient diets and housed in rooms with UV-blocked light bulbs. The mice deficient in vitamin D were either given a low (0.235%) or high (0.87%) calcium diet lacking vitamin D. A third group of D-deficient mice was given diet containing vitamin D prior to the antigen challenge. All D-deficient mice were compared to mice that were never depleted of vitamin D. Male VDR knockout mice and wild-type littermates were generated in our vivarium from breeder stock obtained from JAX labs (Stock No. 006133). They were fed either a low (0.235%) or high (0.87%) calcium diet. All mice were challenged with the very antigenic protein, Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH). Blood was collected at multiple time points after the KLH was injected intraperitoneally. A booster injection of KLH was administered 30-37 days after the first one to assess the impact of low vitamin D or ablated receptor on the secondary response. The amount of various classes and subclasses of antibodies was assessed using enzyme-linked immunoassays. Statistical analyses were developed and performed under the guidance of the University of Wisconsin-Madison CALS Statistical Consulting Group.


Only a few statistically significant differences across dietary groups or between genotypes during the primary or secondary responses were noted. However, none of the differences were present in both animal models; and in some cases, the differences were present in a dietary group that would dictate a change also be present in another group, but there wasn't. Neither the absence of vitamin D or the vitamin D receptor nor hypocalcemia significantly altered the amount of total IgG, IgG1, IG3, IgA, or IgM antibodies.


Neither vitamin D nor its receptor are required to successfully mount an antibody response.


  • Other U.S. Government Support