Vitamin D-dependent rickets type II. Defective induction of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-24-hydroxylase by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in cultured skin fibroblasts

J Clin Invest. 1985 Mar;75(3):954-60. doi: 10.1172/JCI111796.


1,25(OH)2D3 induces 25(OH)D3-24-hydroxylase (24-OHase) in cultured skin fibroblasts from normal subjects. We evaluated 24-OHase induction by 1,25(OH)2D3 in skin fibroblasts from 10 normal subjects and from four unrelated patients with hereditary resistance to 1,25(OH)2D or vitamin D-dependent rickets type II (DD II). Fibroblasts were preincubated with varying concentrations of 1,25(OH)2D3 for 15 h and were then incubated with 0.5 microM [3H]25(OH)D3 at 37 degrees C for 30 min; lipid extracts of the cells were analyzed for [3H]24,25(OH)2D3 by high performance liquid chromatography and periodate oxidation. Apparent maximal [3H]24,25(OH)2D3 production in normal cell lines was 9 pmol/10(6) cells per 30 min and occurred after induction with 10(-8) M 1,25(OH)2D3. 24-OHase induction was detectable in normal fibroblasts at approximately 3 X 10(-10) M 1,25(OH)2D3. [3H]24,25(OH)2D3 formation after exposure to 1,25(OH)2D3 was abnormal in fibroblasts from all four patients with DD II. In fibroblasts from two patients with DD II, [3H]24,25(OH)2D3 formation was unmeasurable (below 0.2 pmol/10(6) cells per 30 min) at 1,25(OH)2D3 concentrations up to 10(-6) M. Fibroblasts from the other two patients with DD II required far higher than normal concentrations of 1,25(OH)2D3 for detectable [3H]24,25(OH)2D3 induction. In one, [3H]24,25(OH)2D3 production reached 2.9 pmol/10(6) cells per 30 min at 10(-6) M 1,25(OH)2D3 (30% normal maximum at 10(-6) M 1,25(OH)2D3). In the other, [3H]24,25(OH)2D3 production achieved normal levels, 7.3 pmol/10(6) cells per 30 min after 10(-6) M 1,25(OH)2D3. The two patients whose cells had a detectable 24-OHase induction by 1,25(OH)2D3 showed a calcemic response to high doses of calciferols in vivo. Our current observations correlate with these two patients' responsiveness to calciferols in vivo and suggest that their target organ defects can be partially or completely overcome with extremely high concentrations of 1,25(OH)2D3. The two patients whose cells showed no detectable 24-OHase induction in vitro failed to show a calcemic response to high doses of calciferols in vivo.

In conclusion: (a) the measurement of 24-OHase induction by 1,25(OH)2D3 in cultured skin fibroblasts is a sensitive in vitro test for defective genes in the 1,25(OH)2D effector pathway. (b) This assay provides a useful tool for characterizing the target tissue defects in DD II and predicting response to calciferol therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System*
  • Enzyme Induction / drug effects
  • Ergocalciferols / physiology*
  • Ergocalciferols / therapeutic use
  • Fibroblasts / enzymology*
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia / etiology
  • Rickets / classification
  • Rickets / complications
  • Rickets / enzymology*
  • Skin / cytology
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / biosynthesis*
  • Vitamin D3 24-Hydroxylase


  • Ergocalciferols
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Steroid Hydroxylases
  • Vitamin D3 24-Hydroxylase
  • Calcitriol