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J Clin Invest. 1981 Mar;67(3):589-96.

Influence of the vitamin D-binding protein on the serum concentration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Significance of the free 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 concentration.


The influence of the serum binding protein (DBP) for vitamin D and its metabolites on the concentration of its main ligands, 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) (25-OHD(3)) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25-[OH](2)D(3)) was studied. The concentration of both 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) and DBP in normal female subjects (45+/-14 ng/liter and 333+/-58 mg/liter, mean+/-SD, respectively; n = 58) increased during the intake of estro-progestogens (69+/-27 ng/liter and 488+/-90 mg/liter, respectively; n = 29), whereas the 25-OHD(3) concentration remained unchanged. A positive correlation was found between the concentrations of 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) and DBP in these women. At the end of pregnancy, the total concentrations of 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) (97+/-26 ng/liter, n = 40) and DBP (616+/-84 mg/liter) are both significantly higher than in nonpregnant females and paired cord serum samples (48+/-11 ng/liter and 266+/-41 mg/liter, respectively). A marked seasonal variation of 25-OHD(3) was observed in pregnant females and their infants, whereas in the same samples the concentrations of both DBP and 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) remained constant throughout the year. The free 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) index, calculated as the molar ratio of this steroid and DBP, remains normal in women taking estro-progestogens, however, and this might explain their normal intestinal calcium absorption despite a high total 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) concentration. In pregnancy the free 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) index remains normal up to 35 wk of gestation, but during the last weeks of gestation, the free 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) index increases in both circulations. A highly significant correlation exists between the (total and free) 25-OHD(3) and 1,25-(OH)(2)D(3) concentrations in maternal and cord serum both at 35 and 40 wk of gestation.

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