Recent advances of vitamin D in immune, reproduction, performance for pig: a review
Abstract: Vitamin D (VD) has been reported to play multiple and significant roles in improving pig health via modulating calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, skeletal muscle development and the immune system. Apart from food, photochemical action of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin is the main source of this molecule for pigs. The VD from dietary intake or photosynthesized via skin can be absorbed into the liver for hydroxylation, and further hydroxylated into the hormone form of VD (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 or 1,25(OH)2D3) in the kidney. As a sterol hormone, 1,25(OH)2D3 is able to bind with the VD receptor (VDR), and this ligand-receptor complex (VDR/retinoic X receptor) translocates from the cytoplasm into the nucleus to regulate gene expression, thus modulating metabolism. In this review, we summarized the recent studies regarding the non-skeletal health benefits of VD for pigs, and focused on the recent advances in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of VD that affects the immune system and reproductive health. This review provides a reference for future research and application of VD in pigs.
Keywords: Immune / pig / reproductive health / serum 25(OH)D3 / vitamin D
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