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Am J Physiol. 1993 May;264(5 Pt 1):E712-6.

Skeletal unloading decreases production of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
VA Med Center, San Francisco, CA,


The plasma concentration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] decreases during skeletal unloading and increases when normal weight bearing is restored. To determine whether these changes in plasma 1,25(OH)2D reflect changes in production, metabolic clearance, or both we measured the kinetics of 1,25(OH)2D metabolism in rats whose skeletons were normally loaded, unloaded, or reloaded after a period of nonweight bearing. Skeletal unloading produced a transient but striking fall in the production (-73%) and plasma concentration (-72%) of 1,25(OH)2D without having a significant effect (< 20%) on metabolic clearance. Skeletal reloading returned production to normal. Bone formation predictably decreased during unloading and returned to normal after return to weight bearing. No consistent changes in blood ionized calcium, plasma immunoreactive parathyroid hormone (irPTH), or plasma phosphorus occurred. These data suggest that the changes in plasma 1,25-(OH)2D associated with changes in skeletal weight bearing primarily reflect changes in 1,25(OH)2D production. The data provide no evidence that the changes in 1,25(OH)2D production are a consequence of changes in blood ionized calcium, plasma irPTH, or phosphorus.

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