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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 Feb;93(2-5):183-90. Epub 2005 Jan 22.

Calcidiol and prostate cancer.

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  • 1Medical School, University of Tampere, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Tampere University Hospital, 33014 Turku, Finland. pentti.tuohimaa@uta.fi


Epidemiological studies suggest that serum calcidiol (25(OH)-Vitamin D3) seems to be associated with several cancers including prostate cancer. We have made several experimental studies in order to clarify the mechanism(s) involved in the association. Calcidiol has been regarded as an inactive prohormone for calcitriol, which possesses the highest biological activity of the Vitamin D metabolites, when it is evaluated on the basis of bioactivity/nmol. However, we found recently that at the physiological concentration calcidiol (100-200 nM) is an active hormone, whereas calcitriol (1alpha,25(OH)2-Vitamin D3) (100 pM) is inactive in human primary prostate stromal cells. Calcidiol is able to inhibit cell growth and to induce or inhibit several genes including 1alpha-hydroxylase and 24-hydroxylase genes. This suggests that calcidiol might be an independent endocrine system involved in the control of cell differentiation and proliferation, whereas calcitriol might be mainly involved in the regulation of calcium and phosphorous balance. Several mechanisms may mediate the action of Vitamin D in the prostate. This is a review of some recent studies on the role of (1) Vitamin D metabolism, (2) growth factors and (3) fatty acid metabolism.

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