Vitamin D deficiency is a global problem, thought to be related to lack of sunlight exposure, and usually accompanied by reduced dietary intake. This study was designed to determine vitamin D status of 60,979 patients admitted to the Burjeel Hospital of VPS healthcare in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from October 2012 to September 2014. The total concentrations of vitamin D [25(OH)D] of all the studied patients were measured in a single laboratory. Of the studied patients, 57.5% were female and 42.5% were male. Serum 25(OH)D (total) measurements showed 82.5% of the studied patients have vitamin D deficiency to insufficiency. 26.4% of females and 18.4% of males have extreme deficiency of 25(OH)D. There was higher variability of vitamin D in group of females then males according to coefficient of variation. In our studied cohort teenagers (13-19 years) have shown the lowest levels of serum vitamin D (data not shown and will be communicated as a separate publication). The prevalence of hypovitaminosis D is significantly high among population of UAE, Saudi Arabia and many Middle Eastern countries, especially among women, despite abundant sunshine. 86.1% UAE nationals and 78.9% visitors of other nationalities were found <75nmol/L of 25(OH)D. 28.4% of UAE nationals and 17.5% of visitors of other nationalities have extreme deficiency of 25(OH)D. Our results are significant, as all of our patients are residing permanently in the UAE or visitors that has yearlong sunlight. In addition, measuring 25(OH)D concentrations in a single laboratory minimized test level variations. Our current study formed the basis of further studies to determine if vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency can aggravate systemic diseases, including hypertension, diabetes or obesity that are also wide-spread in the Middle Eastern region.
We have previously reported that 1,25(OH)2D3 inhibits NF-κB activity and thus inhibits growth of OSCC cells in serum-free culture and down-regulates HBp17/FGFBP-1 expression, which is important for cancer cell growth and angiogenesis. Here, we have investigated the effects of ED-71, an analog of vitamin D3 (VD) on OSCC cell lines in serum-free culture. It is known that ED-71 has a stronger inhibitory effect on bone resorption compared to VD and other VD analogs. To the best of our knowledge, there was no report examining the potential of ED-71 as an anti-cancer agent for OSCC. We found that ED-71 is able to inhibit the growth of cancer cell lines at a concentration of hundred times lower than calcitriol. As Cyp24A1 was reportedly induced in cancer cells, we measured the expression of CYP24A1 in OSCC cell lines (NA and UE), A431 epidermoid carcinoma and normal fibroblast cell (gfi) in serum-free culture. As a result, CYP24A1 mRNA and the protein expression in the OSCC cells treated with ED-71 increased in a dose-dependent manner. However, in vivo experiment, in which the A431 cells were implanted in mice, tumor formation was reduced by the ED-71 treatment with no significant difference between Cyp24A1 expression in the tumors of ED-71-treated and control group, as analyzed by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. These results suggest that ED-71 is a potential anti-cancer agent for OSCC.
We aimed to investigate the relationship between genetic and environmental exposure and vitamin D status at age one, stratified by ethnicity. This study included 563 12-month-old infants in the HealthNuts population-based study. DNA from participants' blood samples was genotyped using Sequenom MassARRAY MALDI-TOF system on 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in six genes. Using logistic regression, we examined associations between environmental exposure and SNPs in vitamin D pathway and filaggrin genes and vitamin D insufficiency (VDI). VDI, defined as serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3(25(OH)D3) level ≤50nmol/L, was measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Infants were stratified by ethnicity determined by parent's country of birth. Infants formula fed at 12 months were associated with reduced odds of VDI compared to infants with no current formula use at 12 months. This association differed by ethnicity (Pinteraction=0.01). The odds ratio (OR) of VDI was 0.29 for Caucasian infants (95% CI, 0.18-0.47) and 0.04 for Asian infants (95% CI, 0.006-0.23). Maternal vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding were associated with increased odds of infants being VDI (OR, 2.39; 95% CI, 1.11-5.18 and OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.20-5.24 respectively). Presence of a minor allele for any GC SNP (rs17467825, rs1155563, rs2282679, rs3755967, rs4588, rs7041) was associated with increased odds of VDI. Caucasian infants homozygous (AA) for rs4588 had an OR of 2.49 of being associated with VDI (95% CI, 1.19-5.18). In a country without routine infant vitamin D supplementation or food chain fortification, formula use is strongly associated with a reduced risk of VDI regardless of ethnicity. There was borderline significance for an association between filaggrin mutations and VDI. However, polymorphisms in vitamin D pathway related genes were associated with increased likelihood of being VDI in infancy.
The sebaceous gland is a major site of steroid synthesis in human skin, but details of the status of steroidogenic enzymes and their regulation in human sebaceous glands under normal and pathological conditions have rarely been reported. Therefore, in this study, we examined the status of steroidogenic enzymes, sex steroid receptors and transcription factors in human sebaceous glands under normal and pathological conditions to explore their possible roles in in situ steroid production in human skin. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed in a total of 59 human skin specimens, including 22 normal human sebaceous glands, 12 with sebaceous nevus, 12 with sebaceous gland hyperplasia, 3 with sebaceoma and 10 with sebaceous carcinoma. Immortalised human SZ95 sebocytes were treated with forskolin or vehicle for 3h, 6h, 12h or 24h, and the mRNA levels of steroidogenic enzymes were evaluated at each time point using quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR). The results of immunohistochemistry demonstrated the immunoreactivity of 3β-HSD1, CYP11A1, StAR, 17β-HSD5, CYP17A1, 5α-red1, PRB, AR and NGFI-B in normal human sebaceous gland, with lower levels of expression in pathological sebaceous glands. The results of the in vitro study also indicated that the expression levels of 3β-HSD1, CYP11A1, StAR, 5α-red1 and NGFI-B were elevated by forskolin. 3β-HSD1 and other steroidogenic enzymes were expressed in sebaceous glands resulting in in situ androgen and progesterone synthesis and their functions.
The intracellular movements of pregnenolone in rat testes were investigated. Whole testes were incubated in the presence or absence of pregnenolone (2.5mM) in the medium for 120 min (in some studies 30, 60, and 90 min). The testes were homogenised, subcellular fractions prepared and analysed in quadruplicate for steroid content by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with selected ion monitoring. Quantification of pregnenolone and 11 of its metabolites, obtained from non-incubated whole testes, provided values for endogenous amounts. Pregnenolone was the only steroid of quantitative importance found initially in the mitochondrial fraction but was subsequently found in the microsomal fraction, where metabolism occurred. Identification and quantification of metabolites indicated that both classical pathways for testosterone production were operating, with the 4-en-3-oxosteroid pathway predominating. By 120 min, virtually all pregnenolone metabolites, including pregnenolone itself, were found in the cytosol, consistent with an overall movement from mitochondria to endoplasmic reticulum to cytosol.
Vitamin D status is highly different in various countries of Europe, the Middle East and Asia. For this review, vitamin D deficiency is defined as serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) <25 nmol/l. Within European countries, serum 25(OH)D is <25 nmol/l in 2-30% of adults, increasing in the elderly and institutionalized to more than 80% in some studies. A north-south gradient was observed for serum 25(OH)D in the Euronut and MORE studies with higher levels in Scandinavia and lower levels in Italy and Spain and some Eastern European countries. This points to other determinants than sunshine, e.g. nutrition, food fortification and supplement use. Mean vitamin D intake in Scandinavia is 200-400IU/d, twice that in other European countries. Very low serum 25(OH)D levels have been reported in the Middle East, e.g. Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iran. In these countries serum 25(OH)D was lower in women than in men and associated with clothing habits. In a Lebanese survey, vitamin D deficiency was observed in the majority and occurred mainly in veiled women. In India, vitamin D deficiency was observed in more than 30%, vitamin D status being poor in school children, pregnant women and large cities. Vitamin D status was much better in Malaysia and Singapore, but lower serum 25(OH)D was observed in Japan and China. Rickets and osteomalacia appear quite common in India, but precise data are lacking. Immigrants in Europe from the Middle East and Asia carry a high risk for vitamin D deficiency, pregnant women being especially at risk. Comparison of vitamin D status between countries is hampered by interlaboratory variation of serum 25(OH)D measurement. In addition, there is a need of population-based data. In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency is common in Southern Europe, the Middle East, India, China and Japan. It is less common in Northern Europe and Southeast Asia. Risk groups are young children, the elderly, pregnant women and non-western immigrants in Europe. Important determinants are skin type, sex, clothing, nutrition, food fortification, supplement use, BMI and degree of urbanization.