Enhancement of hepatic 4-hydroxylation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 through CYP3A4 induction in vitro and in vivo: implications for drug-induced osteomalacia

J Bone Miner Res. 2013 May;28(5):1101-16. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1839.


Long-term therapy with certain drugs, especially cytochrome P450 (P450; CYP)-inducing agents, confers an increased risk of osteomalacia that is attributed to vitamin D deficiency. Human CYP24A1, CYP3A4, and CYP27B1 catalyze the inactivation and activation of vitamin D and have been implicated in the adverse drug response. In this study, the inducibility of these enzymes and monohydroxylation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3) were evaluated after exposure to P450-inducing drugs. With human hepatocytes, treatment with phenobarbital, hyperforin, carbamazepine, and rifampin significantly increased the levels of CYP3A4, but not CYP24A1 or CYP27B1 mRNA. In addition, rifampin pretreatment resulted in an 8-fold increase in formation of the major metabolite of 25OHD3, 4β,25(OH)2D3. This inductive effect was blocked by the addition of 6',7'-dihydroxybergamottin, a selective CYP3A4 inhibitor. With human renal proximal tubular HK-2 cells, treatment with the same inducers did not alter CYP3A4, CYP24A1, or CYP27B1 expression. 24R,25(OH)2 D3 was the predominant monohydroxy metabolite produced from 25OHD3, but its formation was unaffected by the inducers. With healthy volunteers, the mean plasma concentration of 4β,25(OH)2D3 was increased 60% (p < 0.01) after short-term rifampin administration. This was accompanied by a statistically significant reduction in plasma 1α,25(OH)2D3 (-10%; p = 0.03), and a nonsignificant change in 24R,25(OH)2D3 (-8%; p = 0.09) levels. Further analysis revealed a negative correlation between the increase in 4β,25(OH)2D3 and decrease in 1α,25(OH)2D3 levels. Examination of the plasma monohydroxy metabolite/25OHD3 ratios indicated selective induction of the CYP3A4-dependent 4β-hydroxylation pathway of 25OHD3 elimination. These results suggest that induction of hepatic CYP3A4 may be important in the etiology of drug-induced osteomalacia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcifediol / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A / biosynthesis*
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxylation
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteomalacia / chemically induced*
  • Osteomalacia / enzymology
  • Osteomalacia / metabolism
  • Rifampin / pharmacology
  • Young Adult


  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • CYP3A4 protein, human
  • Calcifediol
  • Rifampin