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The innate immune system serves to quickly and effectively defend against pathogens. A finely tuned regulation of its function is crucial for the integrity of the organism. Various endogenous factors (e.g. hormones or cytokines) as well as exogenous factors (e.g. cigarette smoke or environmental pathogens) can affect the complex balance.
One of the classic functions of vitamin D is the regulation of calcium and phosphate metabolism. Only in recent years has the importance of vitamin D for the physiology of the innate and adaptive immune system been recognized. The exact molecular processes through which vitamin D unfolds its effect as an immune modulator are only partially understood.
The aim of this work was to characterize the influence of vitamin D on various functions of the innate immune system after exposure to bacterial pathogens. In a further step, the effects of cigarette smoke on the observed vitamin D effects should be analyzed.