Recent advances in our understanding of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) regulation of intestinal calcium absorption

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012 Jul 1;523(1):73-6. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Jan 2.


Calcium is required for many cellular processes including muscle contraction, nerve pulse transmission, stimulus secretion coupling and bone formation. The principal source of new calcium to meet these essential functions is from the diet. Intestinal absorption of calcium occurs by an active transcellular path and by a non-saturable paracellular path. The major factor influencing intestinal calcium absorption is vitamin D and more specifically the hormonally active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)). This article emphasizes studies that have provided new insight related to the mechanisms involved in the intestinal actions of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3). The following are discussed: recent studies, including those using knock out mice, that suggest that 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) mediated calcium absorption is more complex than the traditional transcellular model; evidence for 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) mediated active transport of calcium by distal as well as proximal segments of the intestine; 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) regulation of paracellular calcium transport and the role of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) in protection against mucosal injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Calcitriol / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / injuries
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Phosphates / metabolism


  • Phosphates
  • Calcitriol
  • Calcium