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Endocrinology. 1994 Aug;135(2):655-61.

Characterization of the translocation process of vitamin D3 from the skin into the circulation.

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Vitamin D, Skin, and Bone Research Laboratory, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts 02118.


The cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D3 and the subsequent translocation of vitamin D3 into the circulation are two key steps in the vitamin D endocrine system. To study the kinetic aspects of cutaneous synthesis and translocation of vitamin D3, both in vitro and in vivo chicken models have been developed. To assess the capacity of chicken skin to generate vitamin D3, the concentrations of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) in different skin areas were determined. It was found that the highest concentration of 7-DHC was in the leg skin (3524 +/- 937 ng cm-2), which was about 30 times greater than that in the back (120 +/- 62 ng cm-2). Whole body exposure of chickens to UV-B radiation (0.5 J cm-2) resulted in the production of previtamin D3 (preD3) in the skin of the legs and feet (43 +/- 7 and 54 +/- 17 ng cm-2, respectively), whereas no preD3 was detected in the back skin. In vitro, at 40 C, the forward (k1) and reverse (k2) rate constants of the preD3<-->vitamin D3 reaction in the leg skin were greatly increased compared to those in n-hexane (k1, 0.367 vs. 0.0369 h-1; k2, 0.042 vs. 0.0059 h-1). In vivo, the determined rate constants k1, k2, and k3 for the consecutive reactions preD3<-->vitamin D3-->vitamin D3 were 0.257, 0.034, and 0.114 h-1, respectively. To evaluate the circulating concentration of vitamin D3 in response to UV-B radiation, chicken legs were irradiated. The time course revealed a 4-fold increase in the circulating concentration of vitamin D3, with a peak about 30 h postradiation. No appreciable amount of preD3 could be detected in the circulation in the early hours after UV-B radiation, suggesting the existence of a process responsible for the specific translocation of vitamin D3 from the skin into the circulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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