"let there be light": The role of Vitamin D in the immune response to vaccines

Sapna P. Sadarangani, Jennifer A. Whitaker, Gregory A. Poland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Vitamin Ds non-skeletal actions, including immunomodulatory role, have been increasingly recognized. Of significance, many immune cells are able to synthesize a biologically active form of vitamin D from circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D with subsequent intracrine actions, and the vitamin D receptor is broadly distributed. In this review, we discuss vitamin Ds potent role in innate and adaptive immune responses and published studies evaluating the impact of serum vitamin D, vitamin D gene pathway polymorphisms or empiric vitamin D supplementation on vaccine immunogenicity. We highlight existing knowledge gaps and propose the steps needed to advance the science and answer the question of whether vitamin D may prove valuable as a vaccine adjuvant for certain vaccines against infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1427-1440
Number of pages14
JournalExpert review of vaccines
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015


  • Vitamin D
  • adaptive immunity
  • cellular immunity
  • immunization
  • innate immunity
  • vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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