Journal of Endocrinology vol:115 issue:2 pages:295-301
Vitamin D metabolites and vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) were measured in non-diabetic rats and in rats made diabetic with streptozotocin. The animals were studied in the intact state, after gonadectomy and during pregnancy. In male non-diabetic rats the serum concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3) and DBP decreased after orchidectomy and were restored by treatment with testosterone. In female non-diabetic rats, these parameters increased after ovariectomy. Increased 1,25-(OH)2D3 and decreased DBP concentrations were found during pregnancy in non-diabetic rats. After the induction of diabetes in intact rats of both sexes, the concentration of DBP decreased, but a significant decrease in the concentration of 1,25-(OH)2D3 was found in male animals only. After ovariectomy, however, 1,25-(OH)2D3 decreased also in female diabetic rats. Both orchidectomy and insulin deficiency depressed serum concentrations of 1,25-(OH)2D3 (-22 and -45% respectively) and DBP (-14 and -29% respectively), but the effects of insulin deficiency were greater than those of androgen withdrawal. Moreover, the testosterone concentration was twofold lower in intact male diabetic rats than in non-diabetic animals. Insulin, but not testosterone treatment, however, restored DBP and 1,25-(OH)2D3 concentrations in diabetic rats, and insulin was effective in intact as well as in gonadectomized animals. This study shows that insulin deficiency decreases the concentrations of DBP and 1,25-(OH)2D3 in the rat, and that these decreases are facilitated by androgens, but counteracted by oestrogens.