Sinonasal epithelial cells synthesize active vitamin D, augmenting host innate immune function

Babar Sultan, Murugappan Ramanathan, Joan Lee, Lindsey May, Andrew P. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Vitamin D, long recognized for its role in bone metabolism and calcium homeostasis, has been increasingly shown to augment innate immunity. 1-α-Hydroxylase, the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of active vitamin D, has been shown to have extrarenal expression in multiple cell types, including airway epithelial cells. The purpose of this study is to explore whether sinonasal epithelial cells (SNECs) express 1-α-hydroxylase, allowing for the local production of active vitamin D, thereby augmenting innate immune function. Methods: Human SNECs were grown in culture and stimulated by inactive vitamin D. Expression of 1-α-hydroxylase was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry. Active vitamin D production was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The expression of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial peptide, was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry. Results: SNECs constitutively express the enzyme 1-α-hydroxylase resulting in active vitamin D production. SNECs exposed to inactive vitamin D had a significant 8-fold increase in cathelicidin expression when compared to controls. Conclusion: SNECs can generate active vitamin D, which significantly increases expression of the antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Forum of Allergy and Rhinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • 1-α-hydroxylase
  • Cathelicidin
  • Innate immunity
  • Rhinosinusitis
  • Sinonasal
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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