Pro-inflammatory signaling by 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in HepG2 cells

    1. Michael J Haas1
    1. 1Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Florida Jacksonville College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
    2. 2Department of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to M J Haas; Email: Michael.haas{at}


    The vitamin D metabolite 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (24, 25[OH]2D3) was shown to induce nongenomic signaling pathways in resting zone chondrocytes and other cells involved in bone remodeling. Recently, our laboratory demonstrated that 24,25-[OH]2D3 but not 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, suppresses apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) gene expression and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) secretion in hepatocytes. Since 24,25-[OH]2D3 has low affinity for the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and little is known with regard to how 24,25-[OH]2D3 modulates nongenomic signaling in hepatocytes, we investigated the capacity of 24,25-[OH]2D3 to activate various signaling pathways relevant to apo A-I synthesis in HepG2 cells. Treatment with 24,25-[OH]2D3 resulted in decreased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) expression and retinoid-X-receptor alpha (RXRα) expression. Similarly, treatment of hepatocytes with 50 nM 24,25-[OH]2D3 for 1–3 h induced PKCα activation as well as c-jun-N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1) activity and extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) activity. These changes in kinase activity correlated with changes in c-jun phosphorylation, an increase in AP-1-dependent transcriptional activity, as well as repression of apo A-I promoter activity. Furthermore, treatment with 24,25-[OH]2D3 increased IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 expression by HepG2 cells. These observations suggest that 24,25-[OH]2D3 elicits several novel rapid nongenomic-mediated pro-inflammatory protein kinases targeting AP1 activity, increasing pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, potentially impacting lipid metabolism and hepatic function.

    • Received 2 May 2016
    • Accepted 27 May 2016
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 1 August 2016
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