Adequate response of plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D to parturition in paretic (milk fever) dairy cows

Science. 1977 May 6;196(4290):662-3. doi: 10.1126/science.854741.


The concentration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D was measured by means of a radioactive receptor assay in the plasma of cows during the period immediately prior to, during, and following parturition. Nonparetic cows showed initially a slight decrease in plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D which was followed by a significant increase during parturition and 2 days postpartum. The highest concentration achieved in the control or nonparetic cows was 100 picograms per milliliter. In the paretic animals the plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentration increased sharply during the day preceding calving and reached a maximum of 200 picograms per milliliter at parturition. This level was maintained during the ensuing 2.5 days. These results demonstrate that parturient paresis cannot be the result of insufficient synthesis or secretion of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / blood
  • Cattle
  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols / blood*
  • Female
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / blood*
  • Lactation
  • Parturient Paresis / blood*
  • Pregnancy


  • Dihydroxycholecalciferols
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols
  • Calcium