Vitamin D and intestinal calcium absorption.

Summary of "Vitamin D and intestinal calcium absorption."

The principal function of vitamin D in calcium homeostasis is to increase calcium absorption from the intestine. Calcium is absorbed by both an active transcellular pathway, which is energy dependent, and by a passive paracellular pathway through tight junctions. 1,25Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)) the hormonally active form of vitamin D, through its genomic actions, is the major stimulator of active intestinal calcium absorption which involves calcium influx, translocation of calcium through the interior of the enterocyte and basolateral extrusion of calcium by the intestinal plasma membrane pump. This article reviews recent studies that have challenged the traditional model of vitamin D mediated transcellular calcium absorption and the crucial role of specific calcium transport proteins in intestinal calcium absorption. There is also increasing evidence that 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) can enhance paracellular calcium diffusion. The influence of estrogen, prolactin, glucocorticoids and aging on intestinal calcium absorption and the role of the distal intestine in vitamin D mediated intestinal calcium absorption are also discussed.


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Molecular and cellular endocrinology
ISSN: 1872-8057
Pages: 25-9


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The physiologically active form of vitamin D. It is formed primarily in the kidney by enzymatic hydroxylation of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (CALCIFEDIOL). Its production is stimulated by low blood calcium levels and parathyroid hormone. Calcitriol increases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and in concert with parathyroid hormone increases bone resorption.

A polypeptide hormone (84 amino acid residues) secreted by the PARATHYROID GLANDS which performs the essential role of maintaining intracellular CALCIUM levels in the body. Parathyroid hormone increases intracellular calcium by promoting the release of CALCIUM from BONE, increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, increases the renal tubular reabsorption of calcium, and increases the renal excretion of phosphates.

A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of VITAMIN D in the diet, insufficient production of vitamin D in the skin, inadequate absorption of vitamin D from the diet, or abnormal conversion of vitamin D to its bioactive metabolites. It is manifested clinically as RICKETS in children and OSTEOMALACIA in adults. (From Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 19th ed, p1406)

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A protein that plays a fundamental role in the Vitamin D mediated transport of calcium in reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. It is found in the intestine, kidneys, egg shell gland, brain, and possibly other organs. Its molecular weight is species dependent.

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