Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis associated with ageing. Vitamin D has diverse biological effect on bone and cartilage, and observational studies have suggested it potential benefit in OA progression and inflammation process. However, the effect of vitamin D on OA is still contradictory. Here, we investigated the therapeutic potential of vitamin D in OA. Six-week-old male Wistar rats were injected with monosodium iodoacetate (MIA) to induce OA. Pain severity, cartilage destruction, and inflammation were measured in MIA-induced OA rats. Autophagy activity and mitochondrial function were also measured. Vitamin-D (1,25(OH)D3) and celecoxib were used to treat MIA-induced OA rats and OA chondrocytes. Oral supplementation of vitamin D resulted in significant attenuations in OA pain, inflammation, and cartilage destruction. Interestingly, the expressions of MMP-13, IL-1β, and MCP-1 in synovial tissues were remarkably attenuated by vitamin D treatment, suggesting its potential to attenuate synovitis in OA. Vitamin D treatment in OA chondrocytes resulted in autophagy induction in human OA chondrocytes and increased expression of TFEB, but not LC3B, caspase-1 and -3, in inflamed synovium. Vitamin D and celecoxib showed a synergistic effect on antinociceptive and chondroprotective properties . Vitamin D showed the chondroprotective and antinociceptive property in OA rats. Autophagy induction by vitamin D treatment may be a promising treatment strategy in OA patients especially presenting vitamin D deficiency. Autophagy promoting strategy may attenuate OA progression through protecting cells from damage and inflammatory cell death.