TNF-α, increases the expression and activity of vitamin D receptor in keratinocytes: Role of c-jun N-terminal kinase

Ester Ziv, Ruth Koren, Muayad A. Zahalka, Amiram Ravid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Several inflammatory mediators increase calcitriol production by epidermal keratinocytes. In turn calcitriol attenuates the keratinocyte inflammatory response. Since the effect of the in-situ generated calcitriol depends also on the sensitivity to the hormone we studied the effect of inflammatory cytokines on the response of HaCaT human keratinocytes to calcitriol by examining the expression and transcriptional activity of VDR. Treatment with TNF, but not with IL-1β or interferon γ, increased VDR protein level, while decreasing the level of its heterodimerization partner RXRα. This was associated with increased VDR mRNA levels. c-Jun N-terminal kinase, but not P38 MAPK or NFkB, was found to participate in the upregulation of VDR by TNF. The functional significance of the modulation of VDR and RXRa levels by TNF is manifested by increased induction of VDR target gene CYP24A1 by calcitriol. Calcitriol, in turn, inhibited the enhanced expression of VDR by TNF. In conclusion, the inflammatory cytokine TNF increases the response of keratinocytes to calcitriol through upregulation of its receptor VDR, which in turn is subject to negative feedback by the hormone accelerating the return of the keratinocyte vitamin D system to its basal activity. We surmise that the increased generation and sensitivity to calcitriol in keratinocytes play a role in the resolution of epidermal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1137399
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • C-Jun N-terminal kinase
  • Calcitriol
  • Keratinocytes
  • Tumor necrosis factor
  • Vitamin D receptor


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