Physiological and pharmacological aspects of 24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol in man.
Russell RG., Kanis JA., Smith R., Adams ND., Bartlett M., Cundy T., Cochran M., Heynen G., Warner GT.
The present study describes the response to small oral doses (1--10 microgram/day) of 24,25-DHCC in man. Contrary to expectation, 24,25-DHCC was as potent as 1,25-DHCC in increasing intestinal absorption of calcium both in normal persons and in patients with a variety of disorders of calcium metabolism. Despite this increase in intestinal absorption, plasma and urine calcium did not increase after 24,25-DHCC as they did after 1,25-DHCC. Metabolic balance studies showed calcium balances to increase by 1.6 to 11.5 mmoles/day in 5 of the 6 patients studied. 24,25-DHCC increased intestinal absorption of calcium equally well in anephric patients, suggesting that conversion of 24,25-DHCC to 1,24,25-trihydroxycholecalciferol by the kidney cannot be the sole mechanism by which 24,25-DHCC expresses biological activity, even though in vitamin D deficient rats nephrectomy does abolish the ability of large doses of 24,25-DHCC to increase calcium absorption. It is concluded that 24,25-DHCC may be a calcium-regulating hormone in man. In view of the effects demonstrated here and its relatively high concentration in plasma and slow turnover rate, 24,25-DHCC has the properties that might be ideal for a long-acting stimulator of bone mineralisation. Further work is needed to explain why 24,25-DHCC has effects in man which are not readily seen in other species.