Impaired 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D production in anephric human and pig

J Clin Invest. 1981 Jan;67(1):274-80. doi: 10.1172/JCI110023.


Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 24, 25-dihydroxy-vitamin D [24,25-(OH)(2)D] concentrations were measured in normal and chronically dialyzed anephric humans and pigs. Measurement of the 24, 25-(OH)(2)D was preceded by three purification steps involving one Sephadex LH-20 column and two high-pressure liquid chromatographic columns. The final high-pressure liquid chromatography step involved resolution of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D(3)-26,23 lactone and 25,26-dihydroxy-vitamin D(2) from 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(2) and 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [24,25-(OH)(2)D(3)]. The total 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25-hydroxyvitamin D(2) plus 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) (25-OHD(3))] was 31.7+/-3.6 ng/ml in the plasma of eight anephric human subjects and 40.1+/-3.7 ng/ml in five normal human subjects. Six of the eight anephric patients had undetectable (<0.2 ng/ml) 24,25-(OH)(2)D concentrations. Two of the eight patients had very low (0.51 and 0.41 ng/ml), but detectable, 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(2). The normal human volunteers had plasma 24,25-(OH)(2)D concentrations of 2.8+/-0.7 ng/ml. Chronically dialyzed anephric and normal pigs were given intramuscular injections of massive amounts (5 x 10(6) IU) of vitamin D(3) immediately after surgery (day 0) and again on day 7. In anephric pigs, plasma 25-OHD(3) progressively rose from 12+/-4 ng/ml on day 0 to 705+/-62 ng/ml on day 10. The 25-OHD(3) concentrations in normal pigs rose from 8+/-2 ng/ml on day 0 to 439+/-64 ng/ml on day 10. Plasma 25-OHD(3) was higher in anephrics throughout the experiment, and concentrations were significantly higher (P < 0.05) on days 9 and 10. Plasma 24,25-(OH)(2)D(3) concentrations declined progressively in anephric pigs from 3.6+/-0.6 ng/ml on day 0 to 3.2+/-0.7 ng/ml on day 2. During days 4-10, plasma 24,25-(OH)(2)D(3) was not apparent until plasma 25-OHD(3) was >400 ng/ml. In control pigs, plasma 24,25-(OH)(2)D(3) was elevated from 4.3+/-0.6 ng/ml on day 0 to 178+/-2.7 ng/ml on day 3. Plasma 24,25-(OH)(2)D(3) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in controls on days 1-8. At the end of the experiment (day 10), 24,25-(OH)(2)D(3) concentrations were similar and not significantly different in both groups (87.0+/-18.4 ng/ml in anephric and 110.3+/-32.1 ng/ml in normal pigs). The identity of the 24,25-(OH)(2)D(3) isolated from anephric pig plasma was confirmed by mass spectroscopy. Our data suggest that anephric humans receiving normal dietary levels of vitamin D(3) have little or no ability to produce 24,25-(OH)(2)D. However, we have shown that pigs produce 24,25-(OH)(2)D(3) when plasma 25-OHD(3) is extremely high (>400 ng/ml).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 24,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D 3
  • Animals
  • Calcium / blood
  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols / blood*
  • Ergocalciferols / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ergocalciferols / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / blood*
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Nephrectomy
  • Swine


  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols
  • Ergocalciferols
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols
  • 24,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D 3
  • 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2
  • Calcium