Systemic cardiovascular disease in uremic rats induced by 1,25(OH)2D3

J Hypertens. 2005 May;23(5):1067-75. doi: 10.1097/01.hjh.0000166849.72721.1c.


Objective: Vitamin D may contribute to cardiovascular disease in the absence of hypercalcemia in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Methods: We investigated the effects of long-term (6-week) treatment with 1,25(OH)2D3, at a non-hypercalcemic dosage (0.25 microg/kg per day per orally) in 5/6 nephrectomized rats: (i) vehicle-treated, sham-operated rats; (ii) 1,25(OH)2D3-treated, sham-operated rats; (iii) vehicle-treated, 5/6 nephrectomized rats; and (iv) 1,25(OH)2D3-treated, 5/6 nephrectomized rats.

Results: Creatinine clearance after 6 weeks was significantly lower and parathyroid hormone levels were significantly higher in 1,25(OH)2D3-treated uremic rats, compared with uremic controls (P < 0.01). Serum calcium levels, as well as the calcium-phosphorus product, did not differ between both groups. Mean systolic blood pressure in 1,25(OH)2D3-treated animals was significantly increased, compared with vehicle (each P < 0.01). In addition, 1,25(OH)2D3-treated uremic animals showed left ventricular hypertrophy. Diffuse aortic calcification involving the intima and media layer occurred in 1,25(OH)2D3-treated uremic animals, but not in other groups. The mean aortic wall area and lumen area were increased two-fold in 1,25(OH)2D3-treated uremic animals compared with vehicle (P < 0.01), whereas the wall/lumen ratio remained unchanged, indicating fusiform aneurysm formation.

Conclusions: Hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy, aortic calcification, and aneurysm, without hypercalcemia, occurred in 1,25(OH)2D3-treated, 5/6 nephrectomized rats. These data indicate a permissive effect of uremia for cardiovascular damage induced by non-hypercalcemic doses of 1,25(OH)2D3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm / chemically induced
  • Animals
  • Aortic Diseases / chemically induced
  • Calcinosis / chemically induced
  • Calcitriol / toxicity*
  • Calcium / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Phosphates / blood
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Uremia / complications*


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Phosphates
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium