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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Oct 15;99(21):13487-91. Epub 2002 Oct 8.

A potent analog of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 selectively induces bone formation.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2)D(3)] is a principal regulator of calcium and phosphorus homeostasis through actions on intestine, kidney, and bone. 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) is not considered to play a significant role in bone formation, except for its role in supporting mineralization. We report here on the properties of 2-methylene-19-nor-(20S)-1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) (2MD), a highly potent analog of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) that induces bone formation both in vitro and in vivo. Selectivity for bone was first demonstrated through the observation that 2MD is at least 30-fold more effective than 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) in stimulating osteoblast-mediated bone calcium mobilization while being only slightly more potent in supporting intestinal calcium transport. 2MD is also highly potent in promoting osteoblast-mediated osteoclast formation in vitro, a process essential to both bone resorption and formation. Most significantly, 2MD at concentrations as low as 10(-12) M causes primary cultures of osteoblasts to produce bone in vitro. This effect is not found with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) even at 10(-8) M, suggesting that 2MD might be osteogenic in vivo. Indeed, 2MD (7 pmol/day) causes a substantial increase (9%) in total body bone mass in ovariectomized rats over a 23-week period. 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) (500 pmol three times a week) only prevented the bone loss associated with ovariectomy and did not increase bone mass. These results indicate that 2MD is a potent bone-selective analog of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) potentially effective in treating bone loss diseases.

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