Vitamin D Pathways May Be Linked to an Inflammatory Process in HIV

vitamin D
vitamin D
In men with HIV, 1,25(OH)2D levels are associated with inflammation, suggesting that inflammation may lead to the increased comorbidity in this population.

In men with HIV, 1,25(OH)2D levels are associated with inflammation, suggesting that inflammation may be related to to increased rates of comorbidity in this population, according to results published in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

The study included both participants with HIV receiving treatment and men not infected with HIV. The researchers measured vitamin D metabolites (including 25[OH]D and 1,25[OH]2D) and 24 inflammatory markers. They used multivariate linear regression to evaluate associations between vitamin D metabolites and inflammatory processes.

In total, 466 men with HIV and 100 men without HIV contributed 658 stored samples from 1998 to 2008.

The researchers found 3 types of inflammatory processes. Inflammatory process 1 was characterized by sTNF-R2, sIL-2Rα, sCD27, BAFF, sgp130, sCD14, CXCL10, and sIL-6R; inflammatory process 2 was primarily characterized by tumor necrosis factor α, IL- 6, IL-8, and MIP-1; and inflammatory process 3 was mainly characterized by MCP-1, eotaxin, and MCP-4.

The researchers did not find any associations between the 3 inflammatory processes and 25(OH)D levels in either men with HIV or men without HIV.

The researchers found that higher levels of inflammatory process 1 was significantly associated with reduced levels of 1,25(OH)2D among men with HIV: every increase of standard deviation in inflammatory process 1 was associated with a 1.82 pg/mL lower level of 1,25(OH)2D (95% CI, −3.44 to −0.21 pg/mL). A similar but nonsignificant trend was seen among men without HIV (β, −2.18 pg/mL; 95% CI, −4.86 to 0.51 pg/mL).

Related Articles

“These results indicate a potential for immune activation and inflammation to influence vitamin D metabolism and suggests a vitamin D endocrine pathway though which the inflammation could result in the excess risk of comorbidities,” the researchers wrote.


Zhang L, Brown TT, Margolick JB, et al. Vitamin D metabolites in aging HIV-infected men: does inflammation play a role? [published online September 25, 2018]. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. doi: 10.1089/AID.2018.0101