A comparison of vitamin D activity in paired non-malignant and malignant human breast tissues.
Links between a low vitamin D status and an increased risk of breast cancer have been observed in epidemiological studies. These links have been investigated in human tissue homogenates and cultured cell lines. We have used non-malignant, malignant and normal reduction mammoplasty breast tissues to investigate the biological and metabolic consequences of the application of vitamin D to intact ex vivo human breast tissue. Tissues were exposed to 1α,25(OH)(2)D(3) (1,25D; active metabolite) and 25(OH)D (25D; pre-metabolite). Changes in mRNA expression and protein expression after vitamin D exposure were analysed. Results indicate that while responses in normal and non-malignant breast tissues are similar between individuals, different tumour tissues are highly variable with regards to their gene expression and biological response. Collectively, malignant breast tissue responds well to active 1,25D, but not to the inactive pre-metabolite 25D. This may have consequences for the recommendation of vitamin D supplementation in breast cancer patients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.