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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 157834, 14 pages
Research Article

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Promotes High Glucose-Induced M1 Macrophage Switching to M2 via the VDR-PPAR Signaling Pathway

Institute of Nephrology, Zhong Da Hospital, Southeast University School of Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210009, China

Received 3 February 2015; Revised 24 March 2015; Accepted 25 March 2015

Academic Editor: Youhua Liu

Copyright © 2015 Xiaoliang Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Macrophages, especially their activation state, are closely related to the progression of diabetic nephropathy. Classically activated macrophages (M1) are proinflammatory effectors, while alternatively activated macrophages (M2) exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 has renoprotective roles that extend beyond the regulation of mineral metabolism, and PPARγ, a nuclear receptor, is essential for macrophage polarization. The present study investigates the effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on macrophage activation state and its underlying mechanism in RAW264.7 cells. We find that, under high glucose conditions, RAW264.7 macrophages tend to switch to the M1 phenotype, expressing higher iNOS and proinflammatory cytokines, including TNFα and IL-12. While 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 significantly inhibited M1 activation, it enhanced M2 macrophage activation; namely, it upregulated the expression of MR, Arg-1, and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 but downregulated the M1 markers. However, the above effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 were abolished when the expression of VDR and PPARγ was inhibited by VDR siRNA and a PPARγ antagonist. In addition, PPARγ was also decreased upon treatment with VDR siRNA. The above results demonstrate that active vitamin D promoted M1 phenotype switching to M2 via the VDR-PPARγ pathway.