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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Apr;288(4):E723-30. Epub 2004 Nov 30.

1,25(OH)2D3 acts as a bone-forming agent in the hormone-independent senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM-P/6).

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  • 1Calcium Research Laboratories, Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Centre, Quebec, Canada.


Recent studies suggest that vitamin D signaling regulates bone formation. However, the overall effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] on bone turnover in vivo is still unclear. In this study, our aim was to examine the effect of 1,25(OH)2D3 on bone turnover in SAM-P/6, a hormone-independent mouse model of senile osteoporosis characterized by a decrease in bone formation. Male and female 4-mo-old SAM-P/6 mice were treated with 1,25(OH)2D3 (18 pmol/24 h) or vehicle for a period of 6 wk, and a group of age- and sex-matched nonosteoporotic animals was used as control. Bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine increased rapidly by >30 +/- 5% (P < 0.001) in 1,25(OH)2D3-treated SAM-P/6 animals, whereas BMD decreased significantly by 18 +/- 2% (P < 0.01) in vehicle-treated SAM-P/6 animals and remained stable in control animals during the same period. Static and dynamic bone histomorphometry indicated that 1,25(OH)2D3 significantly increased bone volume and other parameters of bone quality as well as subperiosteal bone formation rate compared with vehicle-treated SAM-P/6 mice. However, no effect on trabecular bone formation was observed. This was accompanied by a marked decrease in the number of osteoclasts and eroded surfaces. A significant increase in circulating bone formation markers and a decrease in bone resorption markers was also observed. Finally, bone marrow cells, obtained from 1,25(OH)2D3-treated animals and cultured in the absence of 1,25(OH)2D3, differentiated more intensely into osteoblasts compared with those derived from vehicle-treated mice cultured in the same conditions. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that 1,25(OH)2D3 acts simultaneously on bone formation and resorption to prevent the development of senile osteoporosis.

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