The association between multiple sclerosis and vitamin d: a comprehensive review

Sheyda Khalilian ,1,* Halimeh rezaei,2

1. Division of Genetics, Department of Biology, Faculty of sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, IR IRAN



Multiple sclerosis (ms) is a chronic, neurodegenerative central nervous system disorder with an autoimmune origin. it is typically diagnosed between the third and fourth decade of life, with over 75% frequency in women. genetic, epigenetic, nutrition, climate or environmental factors can affect ms pathogenesis. the role of environmental factors such as vitamin d in progression of ms is complex. vitamin d has multiple functions that are important for the integrity of the immune system. recent genome-wide association studies (gwas), have shown that various single nucleotide polymorphisms (snps) are located in the vicinity of vitamin d receptor genes, which may impact the risk of vitamin d insufficiency and also developing ms. the development of new genetic tools such as chip-seq, has made it possible to recognize that the genomic binding region of the vitamin d receptor (vdr), is responsible for the association between ms and vitamin d. in this review, we try to connect the effect of vitamin d on the pathogenesis of the ms by discussing the vdr cistrome.


Pubmed, elsevier, and scopus databases were reviewed to introduce the most recent studies.


Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as il-2 ,il-17,… expressed by the cd4+ t cells, facilitate the chronic inflammation and cause demyelination in cns. specifically the active form of vitamin d can inhibit the transcription of some pro-inflammatory cytokines and in this way, can play an anti-inflammatory role in immune system. vitamin d is identified as a ligand for vdr; factors that modify vdr expression such as methylation of vdr promoter, acetylation of histon 4 in vdr enhancers, levels of mir-125b and also polymorphisms of the vdr gene, can affect the function and metabolism of vitamin d.


Several studies have stated that the frequency of vitamin d deficiency has a significant role in causing the diseases such as ms, also the function of vdr, represents the effect of vitamin d in the body. since, we couldn’t definitely emphasize the association between vdr polymorphisms and ms, further researches are needed to clarify this relationship.


Multiple sclerosis, vitamin d, vdr,