Developmental changes in responsiveness to vitamin D metabolites

Dalia Sömjen, Yehushua Earon, Shaul Harell, Zvi Shimshoni, Yosef Weisman, Arie Harell, Alvin M. Kaye, Itzhak Binderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have demonstrated that epiphyseal chondroblasts contain specific receptors for 24R,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3(24,25(OH)2D3) while diaphyseal osteoblasts contain specific receptors for 1α25-dihydroxy vitamin D3(1,25(OH)2D3). Both metabolites induce DNA synthesis and creatine kinase (CKBB) activity. We have also found that the responsiveness of rat kidney to these metabolites changes during development. In embryonic and early postnatal stages, the kidney responds to 24,25(OH)2D3, later to both 24,25(OH)2D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3, and the mature kidney only to 1,25(OH)2D3. These responses correlate with changes in the specific receptors present in the kidney. Furthermore, we have compared developmental changes in skeletal (epiphysis, diaphysis and mandibular condyle) and non-skeletal (kidney, cerebellum, cerebrum, liver and pituitary) tissue in both rat (a postnatal developer) and rabbit (a perinatal developer). Epiphyseal or diaphyseal chondroblasts at any stage of development were predominantly responsive to 24,25(OH)2D3, whereas osteoblasts were responsive to 1,25(OH)2D3. In contrast, condylar chondroblasts, kidney, cerebellum and pituitary responded to 24,25(OH)2D3 during early development and subsequently developed responsiveness to 1,25(OH)2D3. Using primary cell cultures from kidneys at different stages of maturation, we showed the same developmental pattern as in vivo. Chronic treatment of the cells with 24,25(OH)2D3, but not 1,25(OH)2D3, caused precocious development of responsiveness to 1,25(OH)2D3 in culture. We suggest that 24,25(OH)2D3 acts as a maturation factor, during early development in kidney, and probably in other tissues, possibly by induction of receptor to 1,25(OH)2D3, accompanied by down-regulation of its own receptor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-813
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - 1987


FundersFunder number
Mrs Rona Levin
Rockefeller Foundation


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