Regulation of serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in lactating rats

Journal Article

To characterize further the mechanism(s) underlying the increased serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] concentration associated with lactation in the rat, we examined hormone biosynthesis [i.e., renal 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1α-hydroxylase (1α-hydroxylase) activity] and hormone disappearance in groups of lactating Holtzman rats and age- and sex-matched nonlactating controls. 1α-Hydroxylase activity was significantly greater in kidneys from lactating rats (4.0 ± 0.42 fmol·mg-1μin-1) on a basal diet than in those from nonmated females (1.4 ± 0.08 fmol·mg-1·min-1), an increment sufficient to account for the observed fourfold elevation of 1,25(OH)2D3 in the dams. The increase occurs despite the lower serum 1,25(OH)2D3 levels in lactating than in nonlactating rats at 12 and 24 h after a bolus injection of 1,25(OH)2D3 (2 ng/g body wt). Elevation of serum 1,25(OH)2D3 is not a requisite consequence of lactation, however, because dams receiving supplemental calcium from food (1.6%) and water (0.3%) exhibited no increase of either serum 1,25(OH)2D3 or 1α-hydroxylase activity compared with controls. In contrast, lactating rats that received a diet with only 0.1% calcium had 5-fold higher serum 1,25(OH)2D3 levels and 20-fold higher 1α-hydroxylase activity than nonlactating rats on the same diet. We conclude that other factors in conjunction with lactation, but not the lactating state per se, promote the changes in 1,25(OH)2D3 metabolism observed.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lobaugh, B; Boass, A; Lester, GE; Toverud, SU

Published Date

  • 1990

Published In

  • American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism

Volume / Issue

  • 259 / 5 22-5

Start / End Page

  • E665 - E671