Biological activity of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2 and 24-epi-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2

H. F. De Luca, R. R. Sicinski, Y. Tanaka, P. H. Stern, C. M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The biological activity of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2 [1,25(OH)2D2] and 24-epi-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2 [24-epi-1,25(OH)2D2] has been determined in vitamin D-deficient rats. The biological effectiveness of 1,25(OH)2D2 is equal to that reported previously for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] (15) in intestinal calcium transport, mineralization of bone, mobilization of bone calcium, and elevation of plasma inorganic phosphorus of rachitic rats. However, 24-epi-1,25(OH)2D2 is at best one-half as active as 1,25(OH)2D2 in stimulating intestinal calcium transport and in the mineralization of rachitic bone. The 24-epi-1,25(OH)2D2 is one-third as active as 1,25(OH)2D3 in binding to the chick intestinal receptor for 1,25(OH)2D3. Thus receptor discrimination may account for the twofold difference in intestinal calcium transport activity. 24-Epi-1,25(OH)2D2 appeared inactive in in vivo mobilization of bone calcium or bone phosphorus. On the other hand, in fetal rat bone in culture, the epi compound was only five times less active than 1,25(OH)2D2 in inducing resorption. Short-term experiments on bone mineral mobilization in vivo show that the 24-epi-1,25(OH)2D2 does induce bone calcium mobilization but that its activity in this respect is short lived. It is suggested that 24-epi-1,25(OH)2D2 is more rapidly degraded in vivo than 1,25(OH)2D2, and, as a result, it shows preferential activity on intestine whose response to a single dose of 1,25(OH)2D2 remains for several days, whereas the short-lived bone system does not remain stimulated during the 24-h period between doses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17/4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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