PARATHYROIDS, BONE AND MINERAL METABOLISM: Edited by Vin TangprichaVitamin D for infectionsKorf, Hannelie; Decallonne, Brigitte; Mathieu, Chantal Author Information Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium Correspondence to Chantal Mathieu, MD, PhD, Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. Tel: +32 16 346023; fax: +32 16 330718; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity: December 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 431-436 doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000108 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Current data clearly support an interaction of vitamin D with cells of the immune system apart from its regulatory role in calcium homeostasis. The discovery that immune cells express the vitamin D receptor and are capable of metabolizing circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D into its active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, has revolutionized the field and suggested a regulatory role on both the innate and adaptive immune systems. Recent findings Of particular interest with respect to infectious diseases, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D has been shown to trigger the production of antimicrobial peptides with a direct pathogen-killing capacity. Interestingly, pathogen-derived components influence the key players in the vitamin D metabolizing pathway, further supporting such an interaction. Summary Here, we review the potential mechanisms of vitamin D in promoting the innate immune response against infectious agents and discuss the possible implications for such a response in the prevention of or the intervention in various infectious diseases. Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.