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Vitamin D — Soltriol The heliogenic steroid hormone: Somatotrophic activator and modulator

Discoveries from histochemical studies lead to new concepts

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Summary

Evidence from autoradiographic studies with 3H 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 (soltriol) about its many sites of nuclear binding and multiple actions suggests that the traditional view of “vitamin D and calcium” is too limited and requires modification. A new concept has been developed which proposes that the skin-derived hormone of sunshine, soltriol, is a somatotrophic activator and modulator that affects all vital systems. Regulation of calcium homeostasis is only one of its many actions. Target tissues for soltriol include not only bone, intestine and kidney, but also brain, spinal cord, pituitary, thyroid, endocrine pancreas, adrenal medulla, enteroendocrine cells, thymus, and male and female reproductive organs. Accordingly, actions of soltriol involve effects on autonomic and endocrine regulation with changes in tissue and blood hormone levels, innervation of skeletal muscle, immune and stress response, digestion, blood formation, fertility, pregnancy and lactation, general energy metabolism, mental processes and mood, and others. The skin-mediated transduction of short-wave sunlight induces a purposeful modulation of growth, reproduction and other biological activities in tune with the conditions of the sun cycle and season. Synthesis and actions of vitamin D3-soltriol are dependent not only on the amount of sunlight, but also on the availability of precursor in the skin and access of sunlight, the rate of hydroxylation in liver and kidney, and the modulation of these events by the endocrine status, in particular growth and reproduction. A concept of a five-level control of soltriol synthesis is proposed, in which the hydroxylation steps provide for a sensitive tuning. Relationships between the heliogenic skin-derived hormonal system and the helioprivic pineal-derived hormonal system are recognized and a comprehensive concept of the “endocrinology of sunlight and darkness” is pointed out.

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Stumpf, W.E. Vitamin D — Soltriol The heliogenic steroid hormone: Somatotrophic activator and modulator. Histochemistry 89, 209–219 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00493142

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