We showed that that older adults had reduced VZV-specific cutaneous immune response and increased non-specific inflammation as compared to young. Increased non-specific inflammation observed in the skin of older adults negatively correlated with vitamin D sufficiency. Therefore, vitamin D3 replacement was investigated to determine if it could improve VZV-specific cutaneous immune responses in older adults. Vitamin D insufficient older adults (n=18) were administered 6400IU of vitamin D3/day orally for 14 weeks. Antigen-specific immunity to VZV was assessed using transcriptional analysis of skin biopsies collected from challenged injection sites pre- and post-vitamin D3 replacement. We showed that vitamin D3 supplementation significantly increased the response to cutaneous VZV antigen challenge in older adults. This enhancement was associated with a reduction in inflammatory monocyte infiltration with a concomitant enhancement of T cell recruitment to the site of antigen challenge in the skin.
In conclusion vitamin D3 replacement can boost antigen-specific immunity in older adults with sub-optimal vitamin D status.
- Vitamin D
- Varicella Zoster Virus