Original Paper

Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 114-125

First online:

Extra Renal Synthesis of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and its Health Implications

  • Daniel D. BikleAffiliated withVeterans Affairs Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco Email author 

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Although the kidney was initially thought to be the sole organ responsible for the production of 1,25(OH)2D3 via its enzyme CYP27b1, it is now appreciated that the expression of CYP27b1 in tissues other than the kidney is wide spread. However, the kidney is the major source for circulating 1,25(OH)2D3. Therefore the existence of the capacity for extra renal 1,25(OH)2D3 production begs the question why, and in particular whether the extra renal production of 1,25(OH)2D3 has physiologic importance. In this chapter this question will be discussed. First a compilation of the extra renal sites for CYP27b1 expression is provided. This is followed by a discussion of the regulation of CYP27b1 expression and activity in extra renal tissues, pointing out that such regulation is tissue specific and different from that of CYP27b1 in the kidney. Finally the physiologic significance of extra renal 1,25(OH)2D3 production is examined, with special focus on the role of CYP27b1 in regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation, hormone secretion, and immune function. At this point the data do not clearly demonstrate an essential role for CYP27b1 expression in any tissue outside the kidney, but several examples pointing in this direction are provided. With the availability of the mouse enabling tissue-specific deletion of CYP27b1, the role of extra renal CYP27b1 expression can now be addressed definitively.


CYP27b1 Proliferation Differentiation Parathyroid hormone Insulin FGF23 Immune function Cancer Keratinocytes Macrophages