- Molecular physiology
- Reproductive physiology
- Receptor pharmacology
- Signal transduction mechanism
- Inflammatory response mechanisms
Current Research Interest and Investigation
Covid-19 and Vitamin D3: Effect of Calcitriol on the immune Response
Active vitamin D3 (Vit D3), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, or calcitriol, is best known for its role in calcium and phosphate metabolism, but it also exerts a number of other beneficial biological effects. For example, Vit D3 inhibits parathyroid hormone secretion, the adaptive immune response, and cell proliferation, while at the same time it stimulates insulin secretion, the innate immune response as well as cellular differentiation. The role of Vit D3 in immunoregulation has led to the concept of a dual function as both 1) an important steroid hormone for the regulation of calcium homeostasis, and 2) an essential organic compound that has been shown to play a critical role in the immune responses. To that end, in recent observational studies, deficiencies in Vit D3 have been associated with a higher susceptibility of immune-mediated disorders and inflammatory diseases, and Vit D3 deficiency has also emerged as potential risk factor for contraction of the SARS-CoV-2 – the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the current interest in Vit D3 as a potential factor in the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be investigating any correlation between Vit D3 and the immune response by pretreating RAW 246.7 cells – a murine macrophage cell line – with Vit D3, followed by stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce an immune response. The resultant immune response will specifically be evaluated by the assay of potentially three potent chemical inflammatory mediators – namely tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFa), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), and nitric oxide (NO), respectively. The overlying hypothesis is that pretreating RAW 246.7 cells with Vit D3, will ultimately result in a concentration-dependent inhibition in the expression of TNFa, IL-6, and NO, respectively as compared to RAW cells cultured in a Vit D3 deficient environment.
Keywords: Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, vitamin D3, immune response, innate immunity, inflammatory disease, lipopolysaccharide, nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-6.