Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Biomedical Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (xv, 243 pages) : color illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

JoEllen Welsh

Committee Members

Timothy J Sellati, Nicholas J Mantis, Ramune Reliene, Martin P Tenniswood


1, 25D, 25D, CD14, Mammary Epithelial Cells, Vitamin D, Epithelial cells, Mammary glands, Immune response

Subject Categories

Genetics | Immunology of Infectious Disease | Nutrition


Vitamin D is primarily known for its role in bone health, however recently vitamin D has been identified as a potent immunomodulator. Most research studying the effects of vitamin D on immune properties have focused on immune cells. Few have evaluated how vitamin D affects the immune functions of barrier epithelial cells, such as human mammary epithelial (HME) cells, that are exposed to pathogens both locally and systemically. The goals of the studies described in this thesis were to comprehensively and mechanistically evaluate the immune effects of vitamin D metabolites, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25D), on HME cells. Genomic profiling by microarray identified a cohort of immune genes that were significantly regulated by 1,25D in HME cells including CD14. CD14 is a pattern recognition receptor that binds lipopolysaccharide, a component of gram-negative bacteria.