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Exp Gerontol. 1995 Nov-Dec;30(6):631-43.

Age and gender effects on 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-regulated gene expression.

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Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Program, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


Several factors involved in regulation of bone mineral metabolism were compared in male and female Fischer 344 rats of different ages (1, 2.5, 6, and 18 months). Plasma 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations decreased with age in rats of both genders. Abundance of calbindin-D28K and its mRNA in kidney and calbindin-D9K and its mRNA in duodenum also decreased with age in both male and female rats. Renal 24-hydroxylase activity and 24-hydroxylase mRNA content were elevated significantly in 18-month-old males and females, compared with younger ages. These data suggest that increased renal catabolism of 1,25-(OH)2D3 may be responsible for low plasma 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations observed in older animals. Plasma PTH and 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations, renal 24-hydroxylase enzyme activity and 24-hydroxylase mRNA content, duodenal 24-hydroxylase mRNA abundance, and duodenal calbindin-D9K and calbindin-D9K mRNA content were greater in males than in females at 2.5 months of age. Lower plasma 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations in females seem to explain observed gender differences in expression of 1,25-(OH)2D3-stimulated genes. The combined effects of these gender differences at ages when peak bone density is being developed may contribute to the greater incidence of osteoporosis in females than in males.

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