Vitamin D rescues impaired Mycobacterium tuberculosis-mediated tumor necrosis factor release in macrophages of HIV-seropositive individuals through an enhanced Toll-like receptor signaling pathway in vitro.
Infect Immun. 2013 Jan ;81(1):2-10. Epub 2012 Oct 15. PMID: 23071135
Mycobacterium tuberculosis disease represents an enormous global health problem, with exceptionally high morbidity and mortality in HIV-seropositive (HIV(+)) persons. Alveolar macrophages from HIV(+) persons demonstrate specific and targeted impairment of critical host cell responses, including impaired M. tuberculosis-mediated tumor necrosis factor (TNF) release and macrophage apoptosis. Vitamin D may promote anti-M. tuberculosis responses through upregulation of macrophage NO, NADPH oxidase, cathelicidin, and autophagy mechanisms, but whether vitamin D promotes anti-M. tuberculosis mechanisms in HIV(+) macrophages is not known. In the current study, human macrophages exposed to M. tuberculosis demonstrated robust release of TNF, IκB degradation, and NF-κB nuclear translocation, and these responses were independent of vitamin D pretreatment. In marked contrast, HIV(+) U1 human macrophages exposed to M. tuberculosis demonstrated very low TNF release and no significant IκB degradation or NF-κB nuclear translocation, whereasvitamin D pretreatment restored these critical responses. The vitamin D-mediated restored responses were dependent in part on macrophage CD14 expression. Importantly, similar response patterns were observed with clinically relevant human alveolar macrophages from healthy individuals and asymptomatic HIV(+) persons at high clinical risk of M. tuberculosis infection. Taken together with the observation that local bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) levels of vitamin D are severely deficient in HIV(+) persons, the data from this study demonstrate that exogenous vitamin D can selectively rescue impaired critical innate immune responses in vitro in alveolar macrophages from HIV(+) persons at risk for M. tuberculosis disease, supporting a potential role for exogenous vitamin D as a therapeutic adjuvant in M. tuberculosis infection in HIV(+) persons.