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

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Science  06 May 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4290, pp. 662-663
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.