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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1990 May;32(5):613-22.

Serum free 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and the free 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D index during a longitudinal study of human pregnancy and lactation.

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Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia.


The changes in three different indices of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) biological activity were studied longitudinally in 35 women during late pregnancy and lactation and in 26 control women. Measurements were made of maternal serum total 1,25(OH)2D and free 1,25(OH)2D concentration (by centrifugal ultrafiltration) and the free 1,25(OH)2D index (the molar ratio of total 1,25(OH)2D and vitamin D binding protein (DBP]. During late pregnancy total 1,25(OH)2D concentrations were significantly elevated when compared to controls, as were free 1,25(OH)2D and DBP concentrations and the free 1,25(OH)2D index. Serum total 1,25(OH)2D, free 1,25(OH)2D and DBP concentrations all fell dramatically during the first 2 weeks of lactation with total 1,25(OH)2D and free 1,25(OH)2D concentrations falling to levels below those of controls. During the course of lactation both total 1,25(OH)2D and free 1,25(OH)2D levels rose significantly although they were not different from controls at 18 weeks of lactation. In contrast, the free 1,25(OH)2D index fell during the first 2 weeks of lactation, but remained at this level, significantly lower than controls. Neither urinary calcium excretion nor dietary calcium intake correlated with total or free 1,25(OH)2D, DBP, or the free 1,25(OH)2D index. The disagreement in the results of free 1,25(OH)2D concentration and free 1,25(OH)2D index demonstrates that these two approaches to measuring biologically active 1,25(OH)2D are not equivalent. In attempting to account for the increased calcium requirements of human reproduction we conclude that in pregnancy any of the 1,25(OH)2D measurements may be appropriate. In lactation, however, either 1,25(OH)2D is not a major factor or 1,25(OH)2D biological activity is inadequately represented by any of the currently available methods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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