Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with various autoimmune diseases. Th9 cells are implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous autoimmune diseases. Thus, we investigated the role of calcitriol (active metabolite of Vitamin D) in the regulation of Th9 cell differentiation. In this study, we have unraveled the molecular mechanisms of calcitriol-mediated regulation of Th9 cell differentiation. Calcitriol significantly diminished IL-9 secretion from murine Th9 cells associated with downregulated expression of the Th9-associated transcription factor, PU.1. Ectopic expression of VDR in Th9 cells attenuated the percentage of IL-9-secreting cells. VDR associated with PU.1 in Th9 cells. Using a series of mutations, we were able to dissect the VDR domain involved in the regulation of the Il9 gene. The VDR-PU.1 interaction prevented the accessibility of PU.1 to the Il9 gene promoter, thereby restricting its expression. However, the expression of Foxp3, regulatory T cell-specific transcription factor, was enhanced in the presence of calcitriol in Th9 cells. When Th9 cells are treated with both calcitriol and trichostatin A (histone deacetylase inhibitor), the level of IL-9 reached to the level of wild-type untreated Th9 cells. Calcitriol attenuated specific histone acetylation at the Il9 gene. In contrast, calcitriol enhanced the recruitment of the histone modifier HDAC1 at the Il9 gene promoter. In summary, we have identified that calcitriol blocked the access of PU.1 to the Il9 gene by reducing its expression and associating with it as well as regulated the chromatin of the Il9 gene to regulate expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy