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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2009 Dec;297(6):G1193-7. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00237.2009. Epub 2009 Sep 24.

Human duodenum responses to vitamin D metabolites of TRPV6 and other genes involved in calcium absorption.

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  • 1Gastroenterology Dept., Imperial College Healthcare, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.


Calcium absorption by the intestine is necessary for bone mineralization. Much has been learned about this process and the role of vitamin D metabolites in gene transcription from animal studies, but the molecular mechanisms in humans are less well understood. We have used samples of normal human duodenal mucosa, obtained at endoscopy, to investigate the effects of the vitamin D metabolites, 1alpha-dihydroxycholecalciferol [1,25(OH)(2)D(3)] and 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25OHD), on transcripts on genes involved in calcium absorption and vitamin D metabolism. TRPV6 transcripts were significantly higher after incubation for 6 h with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) (10(-9) mol/l) than after control incubations (median difference 3.1-fold, P < 0.001). Unexpectedly, TRPV6 expression was also higher (2.4-fold, P < 0.02) after incubation with 25OHD (10(-7) mol/l). Transcripts for the calcium-ATPase, PMCA1, were significantly higher with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3); CYP24 transcripts were reliably detected after incubation with either metabolite, but calbindin-D9k transcripts were unaffected. The response of TRPV6 to 25OHD and the expression of transcripts for CYP27B1, the 25OHD-1alpha-hydroxylase, were significantly correlated (r = 0.82, P < 0.02). Basal duodenal expression of TRPV6 and CYP27B1 were significantly associated (r = 0.72, P < 0.001) in a separate previously reported series of subjects. Multiple regression analysis of the associations with basal duodenal TRPV6 expression identified CYP27B1 expression and serum 1,25(OH)(2)D as major factors. Expression of the CYP27B1 protein was demonstrated immunohistochemically in duodenal mucosa. This study has shown that human duodenal TRPV6, PMCA1, and CYP24 transcripts respond rapidly to 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) and provides evidence suggesting that local duodenal production of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) by 25OHD-1alpha-hydroxylase may have a role in human calcium absorption.

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