Experimental diabetes reduces circulating 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in the rat

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Science  24 Jun 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4297, pp. 1452-1454
DOI: 10.1126/science.141098


Duodenal calcium absorption and a vitamin D-dependent duodenal calcium-binding protein are depressed in rats with alloxan- or streptozotocin-induced diabetes. To test for possible abnormal vitamin D metabolism in diabetes we measured serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D in control, streptozotocin diabetic, and insulin-treated diabetic rats. The serum concentration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D was depressed in untreated diabetic rats to one-eighth of the level in controls and was restored to control levels by insulin treatment. The serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was the same in all three groups. Hence, effects of diabetes on duodenal calcium transport can be explained by reduced concentrations of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D resulting either from failure of renal 1alpha-hydroxylation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D or increased catabolism of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.