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Synthetic vitamin D receptor ligands reduce murine kidney fibrosis

JCI Journals

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with kidney disease including fibrosis. Some studies have even suggested that treatment with vitamin D or vitamin D analogs can reduce renal fibrosis; however, the pathways targeted by vitamin D therapy are not completely understood. In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Junn Yanagisawa and colleagues at the University of Tsukuba found that vitamin D binding to its receptor inhibited the TGF-β/SMAD signaling pathway and prevented renal fibrosis in mice. The authors then generated a synthetic ligand of the vitamin D receptor that, like vitamin D, reduced renal fibrosis; however, unlike vitamin D, this synthetic ligand did not promote hypercalcemia. In the accompanying commentary Joseph Bonventre suggests that synthetic ligands of the vitamin D receptor should be further studied as therapeutics for patients with fibrotic diseases.



A nonclassical vitamin D receptor pathway suppresses renal fibrosis


Junn Yanagisawa

University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, , JPN

Phone: 81-29-853-7320; E-mail:

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Antifibrotic vitamin D analogs


Joseph V. Bonventre

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Phone: 617-525-5966; Fax: 617-525-5965; E-mail:

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