Progress in Histochemistry and Cytochemistry vol:48 issue:2 pages:65-98
Besides its classical role in bone and calcium homeostasis, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3), the active form of vitamin D, has many non-classical effects; antiproliferative, anti-apoptotic and prodifferentiating effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 have been described in several tumour types in preclinical models. This review focuses on the insights gained in the elucidation of the role of 1,25(OH)2D3 in the normal thyroid and in the pathogenesis, progression and treatment of thyroid cancer, the most common endocrine malignancy. An increasing amount of observations points towards a role for impaired 1,25(OH)2D3-VDR signalling in the occurrence and progression of thyroid cancer, and a potential for structural analogues in the multimodal treatment of dedifferentiated iodine-resistant thyroid cancer. A role for vitamin D in thyroid-related autoimmunity is less convincing and needs further study. Altered 1,25(OH)2D3-VDR signalling does not influence normal thyroid development nor thyrocyte function, but does affect C-cell function, at least in rodents. If these findings also apply to humans deserves further study.