On the mechanisms for the selective action of vitamin D analogs

Endocrinology. 1991 Apr;128(4):1687-92. doi: 10.1210/endo-128-4-1687.


A variety of analogs of 1,25-(OH)2D3 with less calcemic activity and lower receptor binding affinity than 1,25-(OH)2D3 have been developed. However, these compounds have equal or greater ability to differentiate leukemia cells and psoriatic fibroblasts and to suppress PTH synthesis and secretion. The mechanism for this selectivity has not been elucidated. Because the lower potency of ergocalciferol compared to cholecalciferol in preventing or curing rickets in chicks was associated with a lower affinity of the avian vitamin D binding protein (DBP) for vitamin D2, we tested five analogs with low calcemic activity including 22-oxa-1,25-(OH)2D3 (OCT), MC903, 1,25-(OH)2-16 ene-23-yne D3, 1,25-(OH)2-26,27 dihomo-22-ene-D3, and 1,25-(OH)2-24-trihomo-22-ene-D3 for their affinity for rat serum DBP. All analogs had a low affinity for DBP, ranging from 50-3000 times less than that of 1,25-(OH)2D3. OCT also bound with low affinity to dog and human serum DBP. We tested with OCT the possible consequences of its low affinity for serum DBP. One of the functions of DBP is to prolong the lifetime of 1,25-(OH)2D3 in circulation. Quantification of the metabolic clearance rate (MCR) of OCT in 8 normal dogs using a single bolus injection technique showed that OCT was cleared at a rate of 48.2 +/- 7.5 ml/min, approximately 6-7 times more rapidly than 1,25-(OH)2D3 (6.8 +/- 0.4 ml/min). The estimated half-life of OCT in the circulation was 2.5 +/- 0.3 h compared to 7.0 +/- 0.6; n = 7 for 1,25-(OH)2D3. As our primary interest is the potential of OCT in treating the secondary hyperparathyroidism of CRF, we also measured the MCR of OCT in 5/6 nephrectomized dogs. Uremia does not affect the rate of clearance of OCT from the circulation (MCR: 56.8 +/- 4.5; t1/2 = 2.1 +/- 0.2 n = 4). Despite its shorter half-life, OCT suppressed PTH secretion in vivo in uremic dogs. The effects of low binding to DBP on the percentage uremic dogs. The effects of low binding to DBP on the percentage of free sterol were determined using an ultrafiltration procedure. We compared the proportion of free (unbound) OCT and 1,25-(OH)2D3 in 0.1% BSA-PBS with concentrations of human serum ranging from 0-25%. The proportion of OCT in the free form was significantly higher than that of 1,25-(OH)2D3 for every serum concentration tested. The physiological relevance of a higher percentage of free OCT was tested in normal human macrophages.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Calcitriol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Calcitriol / pharmacokinetics
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology
  • Calcium / blood
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Nephrectomy
  • Parathyroid Hormone / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Uremia / etiology
  • Uremia / metabolism
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein
  • 1,25-dihydroxy-24-trihomo-22-ene-vitamin D3
  • 1,25-dihydroxy-26,27-dihomo-22-ene-vitamin D3
  • calcipotriene
  • Calcitriol
  • maxacalcitol
  • Ro 23-7553
  • Calcium