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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Mar;80(6):1746-50.

Do tissues other than the kidney produce 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in vivo? A reexamination.


Recent experiments have shown that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-like material is produced in cultured nonrenal cells and may be present in the sera of anephric patients. We reexamined the question of whether 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 can be synthesized extrarenally in the rat in vivo. To intact, sham-operated, ureter-ligated, or acutely nephrectomized vitamin D-deficient rats raised on a diet normal in calcium and phosphorus, we gave a physiologic dose of high-specific-activity 25-hydroxy-[3H]vitamin D3 (3.6-3.8 microCi; approximately equal to 25 pmol per rat). Twenty-four hours later we examined their tissues and plasma for the presence of radiolabeled 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Large amounts of radioactivity that behaved chromatographically as identical with authentic 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 were present in the plasma, bone, and intestine of the intact, sham-operated, or ureter-ligated rats. However, no radioactivity eluting in a manner similar to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 was found in plasma, bone, or intestine of acutely nephrectomized rats. We conclude that, in the acutely nephrectomized living rat, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 is not present in plasma, bone, or intestine in quantities detectable by the sensitive techniques we have used. No conversion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 was observed during a 24-hr period after nephrectomy of vitamin D-deprived rats. This fact casts doubt upon the significance of the in vitro production of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 by nonrenal cells as an in vivo phenomenon.

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