Although the regulation of renal 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1alpha-hydroxylase (CYP27B1) is reasonably well understood, the same cannot be said about the regulation of bone CYP27B1 expression. We have compared the regulation of kidney and bone CYP27B1 expression with modulation of dietary vitamin D and calcium levels. Vitamin D-deplete and vitamin D-replete female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either 1% Ca (HC) or 0.1% Ca (LC) diets from 6 months of age. At 9 months of age, animals were killed for mRNA analyses from kidney and bone by real-time RT-PCR. Additionally, primary bone cells were cultured from pCYP27B1-Luc reporter mice in pro-osteogenic media over 15 days and analysed for mRNA for CYP27B1 and other osteogenic markers. In vivo expression of bone CYP27B1 mRNA was independent of changes to kidney CYP27B1 levels with both serum 1,25D and PTH as negative determinants of bone CYP27B1 mRNA levels. Bone cells in pro-mineralising conditions significantly increased CYP27B1 promoter activity over 15 days (P<0.001) which preceded marked increases in alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin and vitamin D receptor mRNA expression and mineral deposition. These findings confirm that the regulation of bone CYP27B1 is unique from that in the kidney, and may play an important role in bone formation.
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