High vitamin D3 diet administered during active colitis negatively affects bone metabolism in an adoptive T cell transfer model

C. B. Larmonier, R. M.T. McFadden, F. M. Hill, R. Schreiner, R. Ramalingam, D. G. Besselsen, F. K. Ghishan, P. R. Kiela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Decreased bone mineral density (BMD) represents an extraintestinal complication of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Vitamin D3 has been considered a viable adjunctive therapy in IBD. However, vitamin D3 plays a pleiotropic role in bone modeling and regulates the bone formation-resorption balance, depending on the physiological environment, and supplementation during active IBD may have unintended consequences. We evaluated the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation during the active phase of disease on colonic inflammation, BMD, and bone metabolism in an adoptive IL-10-/- CD4+ T cell transfer model of chronic colitis. High-dose vitamin D3 supplementation for 12 days during established disease had negligible effects on mucosal inflammation. Plasma vitamin D3 metabolites correlated with diet, but not disease, status. Colitis significantly reduced BMD. High-dose vitamin D3 supplementation did not affect cortical bone but led to a further deterioration of trabecular bone morphology. In mice fed a high vitamin D3 diet, colitis more severely impacted bone formation markers (osteocalcin and bone alkaline phosphatase) and increased bone resorption markers, ratio of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand to osteoprotegrin transcript, plasma osteoprotegrin level, and the osteoclast activation marker tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (ACp5). Bone vitamin D receptor expression was increased in mice with chronic colitis, especially in the high vitamin D3 group. Our data suggest that vitamin D3, at a dose that does not improve inflammation, has no beneficial effects on bone metabolism and density during active colitis or may adversely affect BMD and bone turnover. These observations should be taken into consideration in the planning of further clinical studies with high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with active IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G35-G46
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D
  • Bone mineral density
  • Bone turnover
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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