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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 986281, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/986281
Review Article

The Pleiotropic Effects of Vitamin D in Gynaecological and Obstetric Diseases: An Overview on a Hot Topic

1Department of Oncology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, 20132 Milan, Italy
2Department of Pediatric, Gynaecological, Microbiological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Messina, 98125 Messina, Italy
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Macedonio Melloni Hospital, University of Milan, 20129 Milan, Italy
4Department of Environmental Sciences, Safety, Territory, Food and Health, University of Messina, 98125 Messina, Italy

Received 27 October 2014; Revised 17 January 2015; Accepted 20 January 2015

Academic Editor: Katarína Sebekova

Copyright © 2015 Francesca Colonese 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.

Abstract

The traditionally recognized role of vitamin D consists in the regulation of bone metabolism and calcium-phosphorus homeostasis but recently a lot of in vitro and in vivo studies recognized several “noncalcemic” effects of vitamin D metabolites. Accumulating evidence suggests that the metabolic pathways of this vitamin may play a key role in the developing of gynaecological/obstetric diseases. VDR-mediated signalling pathways and vitamin D levels seem to (deeply) affect the risk of several gynaecological diseases, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and ovarian and even breast cancer. On the other hand, since also the maternal-fetal unit is under the influence of vitamin D, a breakdown in its homeostasis may underlie infertility, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). According to our literature review, the relationship between vitamin D and gynaecological/obstetric diseases must be replicated in future studies which could clarify the molecular machineries behind their development. We suggest that further investigation should take into account the different serum levels of this vitamin, the several actions which arise from the binding between it and its receptor (taking into account its possible polymorphism), and finally the interplay between vitamin D metabolism and other hormonal and metabolic pathways.