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Effect of vitamin D supplementation on N-glycan branching and cellular immunophenotypes in MS.



To investigate the effect of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) supplementation on peripheral immune cell frequency and N-glycan branching in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).


Exploratory analysis of high-dose (20 400 IU) and low-dose (400 IU) vitamin D3 supplementation taken every other day of an 18-month randomized controlled clinical trial including 38 RRMS patients on stable immunomodulatory therapy (NCT01440062). We investigated cholecalciferol treatment effects on N-glycan branching using L-PHA stain (phaseolus vulgaris leukoagglutinin) at 6 months and frequencies of T-, B-, and NK-cell subpopulations at 12 months with flow cytometry.


High-dose supplementation did not change CD3+ T cell subsets, CD19+ B cells subsets, and NK cells frequencies, except for CD8+ T regulatory cells, which were reduced in the low-dose arm compared to the high-dose arm at 12 months. High-dose supplementation decreased N-glycan branching on T and NK cells, measured as L-PHA mean fluorescence intensity (MFI). A reduction of N-glycan branching in B cells was not significant. In contrast, low-dose supplementation did not affect N-glycan branching. Changes in N-glycan branching did not correlate with cell frequencies.


Immunomodulatory effect of vitamin D may involve regulation of N-glycan branching in vivo. Vitamin D3 supplementation did at large not affect the frequencies of peripheral immune cells.

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