Calcified tissue international vol:47 issue:3 pages:164-8
Vitamin D and its metabolites are tightly bound to the serum vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) and only the free hormone is considered to be physiologically active. On the other hand, DBP could interact with cell membranes and even favor its intracellular entry. The present study was undertaken to examine the effects of DBP on bone resorption stimulated by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3]. Forelimb bones from 19-day-old fetal rats were cultured for 5 days in the presence of purified human or rat serum albumin (hSAP or rSAP) and 1,25(OH)2D3, with or without human or rat DBP (hDBP or rDBP). Bone resorption was assessed by measuring the release of previously incorporated 45Ca. We found that the resorptive response to 1,25(OH)2D3 was minimally altered by hDBP (5 microM). The minimal effects of hDBP on 1,25(OH)2D3 activity on rat bones might be explained by a 6-fold lower affinity of hDBP (1.1 x 10(7) M-1) than rDBP (5.9 x 10(7) M-1) for 1,25(OH)2D3 or by species differences in cellular recognition of DBP. In a homologous rat system, however, rDBP at low (0.5 microM) or physiological (5 microM) concentration significantly decreased 1,25(OH)2D3-induced bone resorption. These data therefore support the hypothesis that free rather than DBP-bound 1,25(OH)2D3 is physiologically important.